It certainly has a ring of truth, this home-grown drama about the troubled relationship between two Massachusetts prizefighters who are also brothers, Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. The project was nursed by Mark Wahlberg (also born and raised in that state), shot on location, features a few real-life appearances (such as Mickey O’Keefe, Ward’s mentor) and the intense fights are shot in a way that closely resembles their original TV coverage. The cast delivers heartfelt performances, especially Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, although the portrayal of this ultra-trashy family sometimes risks becoming a little too comical.
2010-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Mark Wahlberg, Dorothy Aufiero, David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman, Paul Tamasy. Directed by David O. Russell. Screenplay: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson. Cinematography: Hoyte Van Hoytema. Cast: Mark Wahlberg (Micky Ward), Christian Bale (Dicky Eklund), Amy Adams (Charlene Fleming), Melissa Leo (Alice Ward), Jack McGee… Sugar Ray Leonard.
Trivia: Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were allegedly considered for the part of Dicky; Darren Aronofsky for directing duties.
Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Bale), Supporting Actress (Leo). Golden Globes: Best Supporting Actor (Bale), Supporting Actress (Leo).
Last word: “[Taking on the co-producer role] was just out of sheer desperation for getting the movie made. I had already promised Micky, Dicky, Alice, Charlene, everybody else involved, that we were gonna get this movie made. And it seemed, you know, at first glance, like it was a no-brainer. I mean, amazing parts, what a wonderful story, a really new and interesting world that you’re not that familiar with. And it just wasn’t meant to be, so we just had to grab ahold of it and force it to happen with sheer will and determination – but very much like Micky’s journey to winning the title. He just had to go and make it happen.” (Wahlberg, About.com)