Week 3 Selection: Cinderella Man (2005) directed by Ron Howard
This movie is criminally underrated. I mean just never talked about at all. I’m ashamed to say that I fall into the category of people who, even though they’ve seen the movie, just seem to forget about it. And I’ll probably re-watch this sometime in the next few days because it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it.
The movie stars Russel Crowe as James J. Braddock, a guy working a shit job during the Great Depression to try and make ends meet. He used to be a boxer, and when his old manager (played by Paul Giamatti – Marty Wolf of Big Fat Liar) sets up a fight for him that he shockingly wins, he ends up getting back into boxing full time to make enough money to support his family. He decides that he wants to fight the defending heavy-weight champion of the world, but his wife, played by the smoke show Renée Zellweger, is not a big fan of him getting back into boxing. The rest of the movie is the story of him getting ready for that while dealing with his own personal life, and the best part about it? It’s based on a true story.
Like I said, this movie is stupidly underrated. Russel Crowe is fucking awesome in pretty much anything he’s in, and this one is no different. Miracle, Hoosiers, The Blind Side, Rudy, fuck, even Raging Bull, all get way more attention than Cinderella Man. I’m not saying that those aren’t great movies. They are. But for whatever reason, Cinderella Man consistently gets left out of the conversation when we talk about the great sports movies based on true stories. That’s not to mention that as a boxing movie, it’s probably the only one I’d put up there with Rocky. Do yourself a favor and go watch it.