Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3 Short Paragraphs: Cinderella Man

2005, Ron Howard -- Netflix

Click click click click the Netflix, saturday morning and I am in the mood to watch a movie and have nothing downloaded.  Hey, this one was filmed here in Toronto and I like Russel Crowe so why not.  I also enjoy period pieces for their costuming and the creative ways they hide the 21st century amidst the dated set dressing. I also walked past the set a couple of times so I thought it worth seeing.

Ron Howard is one of those capable directors with a stable full of accomplished, popular movies. But one wonders whether the fact that because they have the full brunt of Hollywood behind them is the reason they are accomplished.  Sometimes the machine can make decent results despite the lack of skill on the creator's part. I am not saying that this is Ron Howard, as he is the man who did Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind but sometimes I wonder.  And considering how many people hate Spielberg as much as like him, it's a valid wondering.

And this movie leaves me wondering again.  It was decent, it was capable, a good story with good acting about a boxer in the Depression era who loses it all but gains it all back.  But nothing was outstanding, nothing made me feel the era or the people or even cheer for the Braddock like the generation did.  That is the thing that has always bugged me about the Depression, it is depicted as if everyone lost their job and their money, when there were plenty of people who had the money to bet on boxing matches and drive around in fancy cars. Disparity of wealth is always there no matter how romantically tragic the circumstances. And this movie was definitely about the romance of the situation, about a man too proud to ask for help when everything was gone but who becomes an icon of the working class who he was part of. Compelling yes, but not a KO.  Ba-dump bump.