At Large


Directed by David O. Russell
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams

Reviewed by Seth Rogovoy

The Fighter
is both an instant classic of the boxing movie genre and the latest in the pleasantly surprising genre of film based on geography?specifically, mining the curious sociocultural sociopathy of mid-20th century Boston and its environs. Based on the true star of ?Irish? Micky Ward and his trainer/boxer brother, the movie is one of the best of both genres, and credit devolves in large part to Mark Wahlberg, a Dorchester, Mass.-bred native who knows this world (nearby Lowell, Mass.) inside and out, and for whom this project has been a labor of love and determination for years (worthy perhaps of its own documentary film). The casting of Christian Bale as Ward?s crackhead-but-lovable older brother and Amy Adams as the voice-of-reason girlfriend was inspired, as are the performances by Melissa Leo as the Ward matriarch and the half-dozen or more hairdos that play Micky and Dicky?s sisters. More than all of this, however, The Figher is an affecting, effective love story and family drama (although by no means an appropriate ?family film?).

Seth Rogovoy
is Berkshire Living?s award-winning editor-in-chief and cultural critic.



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