Cinderella Man

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MysticalMoose's Avatar
film making extraordinaire
Cinderella Man, the compelling tale of boxer James Braddock who battled through the depression to defy all odds and become a star once again. After seeing the first teaser, I knew I could expect greatness. The combination of director Ron Howard and Russell Crowe is one that has sparked magic before in the best picture A Beautiful Mind . Even though this movie has this powerful duo, there is always room for skepticism. The title itself seemed a little silly, but watch the movie, and even that is cleared away from all uncertainty. Ron Howard portrays the difficulty of living through the depression in the 1930's extremely well and in doing so brings the audience emotionally into the film. Even though it is a lengthy film, the story is so captivating that it passes by quickly. There is no doubt that Cinderella Man is one of the best films of the year, and will most likely to be a major contender in the 2005 academy awards.



The Adventure Starts Here!
I got to see this movie in April as part of an advance press screening for members of the Evangelical Press Association. There were some amazing things in this movie, including the roles of Crowe and Paul Giamatti, a vastly underrated character actor who's been around a long time but is only now beginning to be recognized for his talent.

There were certain scenes in the movie that were entirely jarring, in a way only Ron Howard could pull off without being schmaltzy. I don't want to give away anything, because you have to go into it not knowing what's going to happen, but the scene in Giamatti's apartment is unnerving in what it shows about his relationship with Crowe's character, James Braddock.

Another moving scene is when Crowe/Braddock goes into the country club to ask for help. The awkwardness of the scene is palpable -- again, due to good acting by Giamatti and Crowe.

Sometimes I like Zellweger's roles, and other times she annoys me. This time I come down right in the middle. She did a good job, but for some reason I just don't think she was the best choice for this role. Unlike Crowe and Giamatti, she just didn't seem to fit.

You're right about the length of the film not being an issue. Things continue to move along ("pop pop BAM," as Giamatti's character would say), and you don't notice the movie is as long as it is. However, I will say that, if this weren't a mostly true story, it'd be a bit over the edge in the schmaltz category. What saves it is precisely that it is true (for the most part). When you see the stark reality of how James Braddock had to live and obstacles he had to overcome, it makes you want to try harder in your own life.

I'd give it a 3.75 or possibly 4 out of 5 stars.



was an excellent film with this being (at least in my opinion) russell crowe's best as well as ron howard's...good acting by entire cast, especially paul giamatti



onto le cabaret's Avatar
baptism in a dunking booth
meh, you didn't really say anything I haven't read already

personally i'm pretty tired of the oscar-by-numbers biopics

not to mention, Paul Giamatti, great as he is, was terribly cast, he's become such a token actor, any average joe with a twist is automatically given to him despite wether he was right for the part or not
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Originally Posted by onto le cabaret
meh, you didn't really say anything I haven't read already

personally i'm pretty tired of the oscar-by-numbers biopics

not to mention, Paul Giamatti, great as he is, was terribly cast, he's become such a token actor, any average joe with a twist is automatically given to him despite wether he was right for the part or not
well, i guess everyone is entitled to an opinion....



MysticalMoose's Avatar
film making extraordinaire
just like I think og said, I realize everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but some people are just stupid.



onto le cabaret's Avatar
baptism in a dunking booth
Originally Posted by MysticalMoose
just like I think og said, I realize everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but some people are just stupid.
I'm just saying, a movie has to be more than the sum of its parts, notable character to portray+credible cast does not always equal a brilliant film



Gotta check this one out. Looks like the standard Russell Crowe flick, though--a very well acted and directed Oscar contender about a manically depressed underdog who triumphs against impossible odds! Sounds like it will be fun! No one makes depressed characters look good like Russell Crowe does!



MysticalMoose's Avatar
film making extraordinaire
I think some people work themselves over films too much, all that matters to me is that they had great acting that carried out a good story well(and yes the technical aspects were well done as well), that is something that from watching this movie you can't argue with. Yes you can compare crowe and howard to all their other movies and see the similarities, but you can do the same with any director and most actors. I am sure ron howard wasn't making this movie with the thought that he had to have a different style than his previous films. He simply picked up a good script about a good man, and worked to present the film in the best way he could. The point is the movie was well done, and it is worthy of being accepted as a good movie.



I will check this one out soon, I see our Russ spent a few hrs in the clink in NY
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yeah but they let him out on his own recognizance and has to appear in court in september...seems he threw a phone at one of the hotel employees that he was staying at....



Originally Posted by nebbit
Here they are saying that it was a phone, it was from his room, it was faulty,

no you're right...my goof...it was a phone....i didn't know that it was faulty...



I finally got a chance to watch Cinderella Man yesterday. Entertaining! Great performances all the way round. But I have to say that Russell Crowe's superlative performance was pretty majorly upstaged by the guy who played Max Baer, the heavyweight champion defeated by James Braddock in the climax of the movie. I think he deserves an academy award nomination. But all in all, it was a profound movie with a strong social message about family values and struggling through poverty. Very inspiring in many ways. I also thought that the portrayal of the cutthroat business nature of professional boxing was very good, as was the comically exaggerated villainy of Braddock's contenders in the ring. Good movie. Definitely recommended.



Neutral Milk Hotel
Personally I am EXTREMLEY sick of these dramatic old time movies. ESPECCIALLY another boxing one. I will probably end up seeing it though.
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The Adventure Starts Here!
Well, true, Rico, I agree with you on that in many ways. What saves this film, though, is its being based on a true story. If it were pure fiction, it would have been almost cliche.



Originally Posted by Uncle Rico
Personally I am EXTREMLEY sick of these dramatic old time movies. ESPECCIALLY another boxing one. I will probably end up seeing it though.
Which other dramatic old time boxing movies have been released recently that you can name? (Other than Million Dollar Baby?)



****in' A, man. I got a rash, man
I've yet to see Cinderella Man but it will be hard pressed to even come close to the definitive boxing movie, Raging Bull.
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Originally Posted by Dazed&Confused
I've yet to see Cinderella Man but it will be hard pressed to even come close to the definitive boxing movie, Raging Bull.
I always thought Rocky was the definitive boxing movie! Or how about Kirk Douglas' performance in The Champion or Marlon Brando's classic performance in On the Waterfront? I guess whereas Cinderella Man isn't the box office smash of some of the other trashier releases guzzling up the box office of late, it will remain an enduring classic that will surely be included with the other movies I mentioned. Definitely an Oscar contender!



****in' A, man. I got a rash, man
Originally Posted by darkhorse
I always thought Rocky was the definitive boxing movie! Or how about Kirk Douglas' performance in The Champion or Marlon Brando's classic performance in On the Waterfront? I guess whereas Cinderella Man isn't the box office smash of some of the other trashier releases guzzling up the box office of late, it will remain an enduring classic that will surely be included with the other movies I mentioned. Definitely an Oscar contender!
As a fan of boxing when I said most definitive I meant the movie that most resembles real boxing. Rocky is the classic underdog story that has totally unrealistic boxing scenes, On The Waterfront is a very good movie but Raging Bull depicts actual boxing best and the story of Jake LaMotta is a fascinating one.