Other than knowing WHO starred in this movie, and that it had won awards and is nominated for some Oscars, we were a bit in the dark as to the story. Is it really just about a female boxer, the good ole American rags to riches story? Yes it is.
But it’s also so much more than that. The pace of the movie drags you in, and the three lead roles are all played to perfection, even if they are all cliched to a degree; the haggard gym owner set in his ways and haunted by his past, the ex-boxer janitor who is wiser than he should be, and the white trash girl who won’t give in. The script is light, and the direction is handled well, allowing the actors to act without too many constraints and yet none of them overplay things. The last third of the movie is nicely setup, and the emotive issues are handled wonderfully.
Not a movie for everyone, but if you enjoy the craft of movie making – wonderful lighting and production, character development and interplay, first class direction – then you’ll enjoy this. Whilst this movie using boxing as it crutch, it’s the characters that make it and make it so much more than a simple sporting movie. Highly recommended.