Inspired by an incredible true story, The Fighter is the stirring comeback tale of the unlikely boxing champ, “Irish” Micky Ward, and his half-brother, Dicky Eklund, who decided that, no matter the odds against them and no matter their differences, they weren’t going to give up on their shared dreams without a fight. —AFI Film Festival
David Owen Russell born in August 20, 1958 is an American film director and screenwriter. He has been praised for the loose, comic energy that characterizes his work, and notorious for his explosive confrontations with cast members.
Russell was born in New York City, New York to a Jewish father and an Italian American Catholic mother, and was raised in an “atheistic” household. He graduated from Amherst College in 1981, majoring in Political Science and English. He is good friends with film directors Alexander Payne and Spike Jonze.
His first directorial effort was the independent dark comedy Spanking the Monkey in 1994, starring Jeremy Davies as a troubled young man who develops an incestuous relationship with his mother (Alberta Watson). Despite the controversial subject matter, the film received critical acclaim and won him Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. read more
Next to Wes Anderson, Russell has the most expressive camera in comedy, telegraphing his tracking shots with trajectory and almost moronic assurance. If his cinematography is undignified, it's because so are his characters. Like any David O. Russell picture, The Fighter is this: a love letter to human cookie monsters of neuroticism & the dysfunctional families that love them.
The way I saw it, the 3rd act is played for drama but the rest is inherently comic, a vernacular grotesquerie of absurdism atop psychologic detail atop acutely hilarious regional observation. Bale's Dicky clowns it up, performing for the documentary in the opening sequence, making fun of O'Keefe at the gym & the HBO narrator in jail. A scene like the one where the limo pulls up to the crackhouse and Dicky jumps out the back (a recurring gag) is typical of Russell's films, and always played for laughs: the comedy's in the Frankenstein-like body language of the crackheads as they perceive danger, the nonchalance with which Dicky jumps from the window and the casual way Micky yells at him while he emerges from the garbage, the undignified acts of a father pulling his grown son down from a chain link fence and the son hitting his father, and Micky in turn yelling at everyone with further nonchalance. Then there's the 7 Eklund sisters, whose every scene is a comic masterwork…
David O. Russell flirts with absurdism, flinging characters into a chaotic universe before using Hollywood convention to reel them back in.
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"In his introduction to The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg mentioned no less than four times how hard he worked to get the film made, even telling
A very gritty and crafty variation of the classic rookie boxer story which has been eternalized by Sly Stallone in his Rocky canon. It is a shame that this movie, while addressing slightly different… read review
I’m beginning to realize how great 2010 was for acting. Perhaps I was distracted by the alarming amount of mediocrity coming from Hollywood, but the last few movies I watched to… read review
Title: The Fighter
Genre: Drama, Sport
David O. Russell