Director Ron Howard and star Russell Crowe re-team after their Oscar-winning collaboration A BEAUTIFUL MIND for this rousing biopic. Its the true story of boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) a heavyweight contender from New Jersey nicknamed the Bulldog of Bergen who lost his fame and fortune during the Great Depression only to win the hearts of the downtrodden during a spectacular comeback. Crowe is masterful as Braddock with Renee Zellweger playing his wife and Paul Giamatti as his loyal friend and manager Joe Gould. The sharply observed script devotes a significant amount of screen time to the domestic struggles of Braddocks family developing character and place with a wealth of period detail so when the comeback starts the payoff is enormous. The matches themselves are unforgettable raw intense riveting with more than a passing stylistic nod to Martin Scorseses groundbreaking 1980 film RAGING BULL. Though it may sound a bit formulaic one should remember that this is the true and original underdog boxer story from which all others hail and its riveted together with true craftsmanship. Howard has a real skill for plucking audience members heartstrings and the performances are first-rate. Giamatti and Crowe play off each other in a rapport perfectly suited to their roles especially at the ring where the ones manic intensity makes a perfect contrast to the others warrior grace.
Release Date: 12 November 2007
Certificate: 12 - Suitable for Persons Aged 12 or Over
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 139 minutes
Production Year: 2005
Main Language: English