Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete. Carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised on his shoulders, ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Braddock's African-American corner man in the film as well as in real life was Joe Jeanette (played by Ron Canada). Jeanette himself was a top flight heavyweight contender during the 1900s to the 1910s, but never received a title shot, due to the racial climate of the time. He owned the New Jersey gym in which Braddock often trained. See more »
When Jimmy Braddock wins his first comeback fight, two scenes are in the wrong order. Braddock turns and looks at Gould before Gould calls out his name as he is climbing into the ring. See more »
Before the Title appears the following: "In all the history of the boxing game, you'll find no human interest story to compare with the life narrative of James J. Braddock." - Damon Runyon (1936) See more »
This is the best film Ron Howard has ever done. They really caught lightning in a bottle with this one. All the departments brought their A game to the table. I especially loved the editing and cinematography.
The cast is perfect and, under Ron Howard's confident hand, all give amazing performances. Russel Crowe's soulful performance puts him back in Maximus territory here and, boy, was this cat born to play these types of roles. Bruce McGill is in it (San Antonio, represent!!!) and that's always a good thing.
My only complaint (if it can be called that) is that the boxing sequences break no new ground. They are very reminiscent of the boxing sequences in Raging Bull. They are so well executed, however, that I quickly forgot about this small nitpick.
The script works on so many levels, it's not even funny. There is plenty of time devoted to character development and it pays off handsomely in the long run as we really care about Jim Braddock every time he steps in the ring.
All in all, Cinderella Man is a rousing, classy film that utterly satisfies.
166 of 246 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?