Ron Howard has a knack of making brilliant movies …
If you loved a Beautiful Mind for the lovely Princeton settings and Russel Crowe acting, you are in for a treat.
The movie is based on the life of James Braddock – a boxer from the late 1920s to the earlier 1930s who was named ’’Cinderella Man’’ for his fairytale rise to fame from a local boxer to the heavyweight champion of the world.
The movie wastes no time as it puts you up with Braddock in a local match. It is still the pre depression era and people are well to do, Braddock is winning matches and is pretty doing well himself.
You notice, at once – the authentic 1920s setting which makes the movie such a treat to the eyes. It has the buildings, the cars, the works.
Not to mention, the camera has that sepia kind of tone to add to the overall experience.
The movie soon fast forwards to the depression era, where Braddock isn’t doing as well as he was (his license gets revoked) … and this is the setting the rest of the movie is based on.
The settings again, reflect the era and the viewer is drawn into empathizing with the people of the time.
The movie also highlights, Braddocks lowest moments of this time – and the scene in which he removes his cap and puts in front of the people he once worked with, begging for some 18 dollars, so that he can pay his electricity bill and bring back his children, is very heart wrenching.
Throughout the movie, Russell Crowe has acted beautifully, both in the ring and out of it. Renée Zellweger who plays his wife, supports him very well.
Paul Giamatti who plays his agent and friend (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) is another great addition to the already existing pool of talent to the movie.
The boxing bouts throughout the movie are very excellently done, especially the last one, and you’ll find yourself being pushed to the edge of your seat every time.
This is not just another boxing movie …
But though the movie about the man – James Braddock – and what he stood for, you can also watch the movie for the boxing bouts (for the ones who are more into the action bit of it). The commentary, setting and the adrenaline are what makes it worth watching more than once.
The background scores and the music are very well done and complement the movie nicely.
All in all, a very good watch. One of the best movies of 2005, one of my favourite movies of all time – and time very well spent.