Based on a true story, THE FIGHTER charts the true story of the rise and fall of two boxing brothers - wannabe contender Mark Wahlberg and fading former champ Christian Bale, on his uppers and addicted to crack. To make things worse, Wahlberg has another fight going on outside the ring, as new girlfriend Amy Adams clashes with his fiery mother and her equally belligerent daughters. THE FIGHTER is an expertly put-together story of a blue-collar family battling for the American dream. You certainly can't fault the excellent cast - Bale particularly shines as the brother trying to escape the dark night of his drug addiction. It's a barnstorming performance and probably an odds-on favourite to scoop Bale an Oscar. Not as showy but equally impressive in a different way is Mark Wahlberg, giving quiet, impressive support. There's also Melissa Leo, terrifyingly formidable as their mother and promoter. Director David O Russell finally comes back from the Hollywood wilderness he was exiled to after the abject failure of I Heart Huckabees. For the most part, the film ducks around the usual boxing cliches - although as we reach the climactic bout, the movie does slip into familiar territory. No matter - this is still a powerful film and highly recommended. it opens around the UK this Friday.
Random thoughts about sound and vision.