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 the ones who are do 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...Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Contrary to the way it was portrayed in the film, the Baer-Braddock fight was not a dramatic, action-packed fight. The New York Times account called it "one of the worst heavyweight championship contests in the long history of the ring," noting that Baer, "ever the clown, didn't want to fight" and "could not be serious, even as a fortune was slipping through his fingers." 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.
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