Three movies in the theater in one week–an unexpected luxury! I recently saw The Fighter and The King’s Speech–about two completely divergent families in different countries, classes, clothes, countenance, language, and periods of history but with similar themes of family expectations vs. achieving individual goals, second sons languishing in their elder’s rotten shadows, and the protagonists overcoming extreme obstacles to succeed.
From hardscrabble Lowell MA to the upper echelons of England, in neither film were there flashy effects, over generated computer creations, time-wasting jokes, or aliens. Both dramas were based on true stories, with the ability to draw me into a recent historical time period with excellent costumes and sets, extremely strong ensemble casts of unusual characters, appropriate (and inappropriate) language spotted with unanticipated humor, and attention-keeping story lines.
Already winning a multitude of awards, I expect Academy Award nominations for actors in both films, especially Collin Firth and a supporting nod for Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech and supporting nods for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in The Fighter. Two movies worth seeing in the theater, and my surprising choice of The Fighter for the better of the two. While the growth in Mark Wahlberg was impressive with Amy Adam at his side, Christian Bale was over-the-top in a believable way. A fantastic way to spend a couple hours lost in someone else’s lives, both tense and inspiring.
The third film does NOT deserve any mention with the excellent ones above. Gulliver’s Travels definitely did NOT live up to my Jack-Black expectations. Enough said about wasting a couple hours in the theater (son’s choice). C