The Fighter (Russell, 2010)
Well, I do have to say this is better than I expected. What I figured would be more typical Oscar bait was actually chock full of moments that meet my ideal cinematic experience. There are several aesthetically pleasing, intimate moments between characters (and sometimes between character and situation) where general dialogue ceases, guards are dropped, and we can see straight through to the heart of these people. More is said when these characters are not trying to tell someone something than when they are.
But there is no consistency to the film’s tone. For every soft, moody scene there is an out of place, caricaturistic comedy scene or an average sports film training/competition scene. Russell never fully commits to the realism and poetry of the film’s strongest scenes. Also, for a minute can we stop and appreciate Wahlberg and Adams’ performances? It seems they’re in the shadow of Bale and Leo (despite Adams’ Oscar nomination), but I’ll take subtlety over eccentric most days. 7.25/10