Another underdog sports story inspired by a true events. Think Rocky, Rudy, or Invincible (which also starred Mark Wahlberg). Sure it's uplifting and stirring, but also predictable and formulaic; however, the plot does serve up three supporting role nominees:
- Christian Bale as Dickie Eklund, a crack-addicted, has-been boxer who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard. I enjoyed the scene where he finally comes to grip with fact that HBO is making a documentary about his drug use and not his "come back."
- Amy Adams as Micky's girlfriend and number one supporter, Charlene. I love the scene on her front porch where she threatens Micky's sister and then follows through by taking her down.
- Melissa Leo as Alice, Micky's chain-smoking mother/manager. She's more concerned about the next paycheck and her older son Dickie than Micky's career as a boxer.
All three deliver spot-on performances. For the actors supporting role Oscar, I think John Hawkes delivers the win for Winter's Bone. But in the actress category, the two top performances from my perspective are the crazy mothers: Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom and Leo. Overall, The Fighter ranks below the animated films on my list of 25 movies pushing The Kid Are All Right down another spot.