Your personal film critic’s word of the day is “authenticity.” No, that’s not the name of a film, but it is a factor that I think earned one movie its Oscar nomination.
The 83rd Academy Awards show will air Feb. 27. And the best picture nominees are: “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “127 Hours,” “The Social Network,” “Toy Story 3,” “Winter’s Bone,” “True Grit,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Fighter.”
You will notice many of those were reviewed right here with my Oscar predictions noted — not that I want to toot my own horn. I will say, however, one actor who should be allowed to toot his own horn in this instance is Christian Bale. He is nominated for best supporting actor for his role in “The Fighter,” which I saw last weekend.
Bale quite simply blows all of his competition out of the water with his portrayal of real-life boxer and crack addict Dicky Eklund. According to director David O. Russell, “Dicky has a whole rhythm to him, a music. Christian had to understand how his mind works.” Boy did he! The result is an astonishing, lovingly executed performance, which means I’m afraid my earlier pick, Geoffrey Rush, probably won’t be taking home a statuette.
As for the rest of the film, “The Fighter” was fantastic. The real star, Mark Wahlberg, trained like a boxer for the film. He took real punches with zero stunt doubles. Incredibly, Mickey O’Keefe, the cop and lead trainer in the film, plays himself. The fight choreography came directly from actual footage of the historical fights, the real commentary from those brawls was used in the film and — get this — film cameras from that era were also employed, which is why the movie just plain looks authentic.
Additionally, Amy Adams deserves special kudos for turning out such an uncharacteristically ballsy character.
Oh my, I’m a fan!