Such a fully satisfying film is a rarity. A story of family, struggle, and love told with great humor, intelligence and heart. I've already seen it twice and am telling everyone I meet to be sure to catch it. I was blown away by Amy Adams' touching performance in JUNE BUG and by the raw beauty of Melissa Leo's work in FROZEN RIVER, but have been slow to distinguish among the crop of young male stars and directors who deserve to be household names. Christian BALE, MARK WAHLBERG, and David O. RUSSELL are names now branded in my consciousness. This season I've been stunned by the creative forces at work in films including SOCIAL NETWORK and JACK GOES BOATING, but for its overall achievement, this amazing film based on the true story of two boxers from Lowell, Massachusetts earns a championship. It is much more than just a fight film or a biopic though it certainly sweeps us into the drama of the boxing ring and quivers with the diamond gleam of truth. Bale's finely etched creation of Dicky and Wahlberg's extraordinary dual turn as producer and star in the role of Dicky's brother Micky should place both men front and center for Oscar nominations along with Russell who shaped the film with a keen sensitivity. Russel's team of artists including cinematographer, costume and sound design were all spot on in their respective contributions. Tho Leo and her gaggle of daughters struck me at first as verging on caricature, I quickly saw that they perfectly captured the family culture while providing a delicious comic motif.