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Can 'The Fighter' score a knockout at the Oscars?

September 16, 2010 |  6:59 am

The fighter-1

Boxing flicks have heavyweight status at the Oscars. Two slugfests have won best picture: "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) and "Rocky" (1976). And several pugilist performances were declared champs in the acting rings: Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby"), Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull," best pic nominee of 1980) and Wallace Beery ("The Champ," best pic nominee of 1931-32).

"Cinderella Man" (2005) could've been a contender except for two problems: a too-early release date (May) and Russell Crowe knocking himself out of the lead-actor bout by hurling a phone at a Manhattan hotel clerk.

Now "The Fighter" comes out swinging this December. Directed by David O. Russell ("I Heart Huckabees," "Three Kings," "Flirting with Disaster"), it tells the real-life tale of "Irish" Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) struggling for the world junior welterweight title while being coached by his half-brother (Christian Bale), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KOd by drugs and crime. Wahlberg scored a surprise Oscar nom in the supporting slot for "The Departed" (2006) and now will compete in the lead race. Bale is overdue to reap a bid from academy voters.

Photo: Mark Wahlberg in "The Fighter" (Paramount)

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The comments to this entry are closed.



Bale has been starring in movies since he was 13, and was oscar worthy in 'Empire of the Sun' (he was 13 at the time), Metroland, American Psycho, The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, Harsh Times, and The Prestige, to name a few.

The only movies where he wasn't on his game were a possibly a couple of the summer tent pole films he made, which is all that the shoe size IQ crowd like yourself have ever seen.

So yes, you have missed something. I'm pretty sure you have always been missing something.

@ Torrence5

Really? 3:10 to Yuma was the best performance you could think of? His role in American Psycho has a cult-like following, and deservedly so. He was great in The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, even The Prestige. Hell, you could say he deserved one for Empire of the Sun too.
While it is one thing to say he should have won one by now, it's ridiculous that he hasn't even been nominated. Although he's a had a few missteps in the past couple of years, he was unbelievably consistent before then. He looks great in this, too.

Not sure how the article can claim Christian Bale is "over due to reap a bid from acedemy voters." What has Bale done to deserve this "over due" ascpect? With the possible, and I am not saying Bale was robbed, the only acting nomination I can think of that would have been appropriate was supporting actor for "3-10 to Yuma". Am I missing something? Has Bale developed a bio of great performances that along with the academy voters, I too, have missed?

I don't know why people are all excited for this film. The story is so redundant. Fighter wants to fight, fighter wants family back, fighter loses first fight, fighter wins last fight, marries some chick and gets out of drugs magically. Boring if you ask me.

It's possible Stranger things have happened in the history of the oscars. like 1968 the only year an oscar ever ended in a tie best actress Barbra Streisand and Katherine Hepburn. or that same year when Paul Newman wasn't nominated for best director prompting his wife Joanne Woodward to threaten to leave the Academy in protest as he'd won the New York City film critics best director for his work Directing her in Rachel Rachel and she felt his talent was slighted by the academy



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