I spent a lot of time giggling with my sister during this movie, because the sisters of Irish Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) are some of the most ridiculous creatures on Earth, both in physicality and behavior. Horrible, I know, but movies are supposed to be entertaining though, no?
"The Fighter" revolves around Micky trying to make it into the boxing world. He's had some fights in the past that haven't exactly been to his advantage, mostly because his mother, Alice (Melissa Leo) and his brother Dicky (Christian Bale), have been persuading him to fight for the money, even if it meant getting his ass kicked.
The film is really about the relationship between Micky and Dicky, as Dicky tries to relive his glory days through Micky. He too was a boxer, but then he became good friends with crack, and everything went down the toilet. Alice is oblivious to Dicky's drug problem, and only sees what's good about him. In the process, she ends up overlooking the fact that she's also Micky's mother.
Amy Adams is so bad ass as Charlene, Micky's girlfriend in the film. She's a bartender who lost her high-jumping college scholarship because she partied too hard. What's great about her is that she doesn't take any crap from anyone, including Alice and all 4 million of Micky's sisters. She is also fully in Micky's corner, which is something that Micky's depends on. In fact, Micky has quite a few people who are truly looking out for his best interests, even when his mother and brother are not. The viewer is able to see how Micky was able to carve out a sort of surrogate family for himself when he couldn't depend on his own.
The performances in this movie are spectacular. Mark Wahlberg is all stoic and hard working as Micky in contrast to Dicky's drug-induced, narcissistic mania. Christian Bale is winning every award out there for this role, and it's well deserved. He is trans-formative in the role and it's great to see those award-givers taking notice. The other standout is Melissa Leo as the matriarch of the Ward clan, who tries hard to be there for everyone, but in the end, is really there for no one.
So on the CWeave scale, I give this movie a 9. Great performances, crazy family drama, and some good boxing all combine for an entertaining night at the cinema.