James Braddock had two great opponents in his lifetime, Max Bauer and the Great Depression. We see with what finesse he is able to confront both in this stylish and lovable movie. Braddock is a fine boxer, able to support himself and his family well. He breaks his hand in a fight and manfully tries to keep going, only to ruin his career. It doesn't help that the Depression comes along to take what's left of him and his family. He does all he can to survive, like most Americans during desperate times, but he picks himself up until he gets another chance. After working on the shipyard and his hand recovers, he gets to go back in the ring. He gradually succeeds until he can face Max Bauer, a cruel and notorious fighter.
"Cinderella Man" is a super movie. It has the struggle and heart of the best boxing movies (like "Rocky" and "Raging Bull") especially with a good story to go behind the scenes. The performances are formidable. Russell Crowe is brimming with toughness and decency as Braddock, and Renee Zellweger is nuanced as his nervous, but caring wife. Paul Giamatti is also in fine form as his manager. Director Ron Howard has accomplished much by zeroing in on every detail; every development and every punch line is embellished well in this movie.
With all the hype that surrounded this movie, I thought it would not be too good, especially since I recently saw a documentary on the life of Jim Braddock. However, this is one instance where the movie actually surpassed the hype! This movie does such a good job depicting New York City during the Depression that I literally felt transported back in time. The acting is great and the fight scenes are the most realistic that I have ever seen in a boxing movie (including Raging Bull). As … more
Cinderella Man is the real life story of Jim Braddock, a depression era boxer who went from a washed up has been to the ultimate glory of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. After a long layoff from boxing and struggling to feed his family, Braddock went on an unbelievable winning streak, eventually landing a heavyweight championship match with Max Bear. While the movie is a bit over dramatized leading up to the championship match, it's a superb and moving story. Two thumbs up.
Not being a fan of boxing I usually avoid movies about the sport unless there is some other reason for watching (as in Million Dollar Baby, the initial Rocky film): the idea of watching two people beat each other bloody while crazy crowds cheer just doesn't register as entertainment (the American gladiator syndrome). And while CINDERELLA MAN is clearly about the game of boxing, the true story of a real boxer, and contains long spans of beatings, this film is not so much about boxing as it is about … more
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Cinderella Manis a wholesome slice of old-fashioned Americana, offering welcomed relief from the shallowness of many summer blockbusters. In dramatizing the legendary Depression-era comeback of impoverished boxer Jim Braddock, director Ron Howard benefits from another superb collaboration with hisA Beautiful Mindstar Russell Crowe, whose portrayal of Braddock is simultaneously warm, noble, and tenacious without resorting to even the slightest hint of sentimental melodrama. The desperate struggle of the Depression is more keenly felt here than it was inSeabiscuit, and Howard shows its economic impact in ways that strengthen the bonds between Braddock, his supportive wife (Renée Zellweger) and three young children, and his loyal manager (Paul Giamatti); all are forced to make sacrifices leading up to Braddock's title bout against heavyweight champion Max Baer (Craig Bierko) in one of greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport. Boasting the finest production design, cinematography and editing that Hollywood can offer, this is a feel-good film that never begs for your affection; it's just good, classical American filmmaking, brimming with qualities of decency and fortitude that have grown all too rare in the big-studio mainstream.--Jeff Shannon