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The Fighter (2010)
I love character study films and Christian Bale tends to get involved in those types of projects. He does not fail to disappoint in this one - in fact, he surpassed my expectations and his performance as the crack-addicted Dicky Ward absolutely steals the show. I was stunned in the first few minutes of the film by how immersed Christian was in his character - he was virtually unrecognizable with his gaunt frame, hollowed cheeks and wayward mannerisms of a low class Lowell resident. I was not quite as engrossed by Mark Wahlberg's performance in the title role of Micky Ward, though the rest of the supporting cast did an admirable job, including a wonderful performance by Michelle Leo as Micky and Dicky's overbearing mother/manager. I was also pleased with Amy Adams as Micky's flawed but strong girlfriend.
For me, the heart of this film was the interaction and relationship between Dicky and his brother, Micky - it was the strongest point of the film and I give credit to the producers and screenwriters for making that the focal point of the film. Dicky has great love for his brother and family despite his drug addiction, going to great (and at one point, illegal) lengths to support him in any way he can. I found myself becoming emotionally invested in both characters and by the end of the film, I was tearing up alongside with Dicky as he described the pride and love he felt for his brother.
Truly wonderful film and certainly one of Christian Bale's best performances. The man is truly a great and incredibly talented actor.