Friday, September 30, 2005

Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man is about a burnout and injury-prone boxer who finally won (I'm not sure about the weight class) the championship belt after years of poverty and dissapointment. 

Russel Crowe plays the lead character James Braddock. Braddock was a top boxer at the start of the movie, until injuries and later on the Great Depression removed him from the driver seat of life. From riches to rags, he worked at the docks barely making enough for food for a wife and three children.

After years of barely keeping his family above water, fortune came when Braddock was asked to fight in an exhibition match against a top contender for the championship belt. He won. More high profile fights followed until he was given a chance to fight for the big prize. He won.

I liked the story. It is a good family drama acted out by a terrific cast. What caught my attention were the boxing scenes. Most of the time the fighters are holding and embracing whenever possible. Sometimes I wondered if I was watching wrestling instead of boxing, but the film is about 30s era boxing; rules were most likely different back then. Boxing in the 30s had more whites too, and probably more deaths. On that regard, fortunately, boxing has made advances.

This movie according to reports has a good chance of winning an Oscar. It is a topic that Americans love; small man makes it big in the land of opportunity. It conceited point of view but Americans love the idea of being the embodiment of all that is good. Russel Crowe and leading lady Renee Zellweger will undoubtedly get a nomination. Both are popular and the Oscars is not without politics. The sentimental favorites will again come back into play.