Monday, May 30, 2005

Cinderella Man (****)

The previews for Cinderella Man appeared self-important and practically screamed, "Give me an Oscar." Having seen the film, I don't think the movie needs to ask for any Oscars. People are just going to give it some. This is a film that gives both "feel-good" movies and biopics a good name. It is expertly acted, directed, designed, and scripted. I think the strength of the film rests with the story. The life of James J. Braddock is one that I'm sure most people aren't entirely familiar with, but one that is definitely worth portraying on screen. The Great Depression is a period in American life ripe with amazing stories, and Braddock's struggle through it all adds emotion and resonance to his later successes in the ring. As played by Russell Crowe, who apparently can do just about anything, he is a strong and decent man fighting to keep his family together in the midst of overwhelming odds. You can practically feel the movie theater audience rooting for Braddock along with the characters on screen. Ron Howard achieves the seemingly impossible task of filming the boxing scenes in new and exciting ways. After Raging Bull, Rocky, and even the recent Million Dollar Baby, one would think the boxing genre was all washed up. Not if Cinderalla Man has anything to say about it. The script, co-written by A Beautiful Mind's Akiva Goldsman, has an excellent structure and should be used to teach people how to write screenplays. This movie should appeal to just about everyone, and will be a lock for some Oscar nominations come February. Excellent.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger Jules said...

Wow, you gave it four stars. I was too scared to do that. I might end up bumping it up from ***1/2 if nothing better comes along. This movie was excellent. It was long, but it held my attention the whole time.

Year four is coming...


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