The Fighter (in theaters now 12/26/10, location Regal Kingstowne 16)
Yet another true story this year. How many true stories are they going to make this year. Could make for a tough Adapted Screenplay category. But this movie is a worthy candidate in many areas. It is a story of two brothers from a small town in Massachusetts and how they deal with the pressures of being the big name in the town. The story picks up during a critical point in Micky's life (Mark Wahlberg) and during an HBO special on crack addiction for Dicky (Christian Bale). Their two lives are moving in opposite directions but the family bond allows for one to drag the other into the difficulties of addiction and how the poor decisions made can impact others close to you.
I found myself really cheering during the boxing match and might of even heard someone clapping behind me at the end of one of the fights during the movie. This movie is a Rocky for the younger generation. Rumors have started for a celebrity boxing match between Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith (Ali). Not sure if I would bother with that, but watching Mark Wahlberg go through the training of a boxer made me recall his early career with the Funky Bunch and wanted some "Good Vibrations". However, the soundtrack was more of the 80s rock (and my friends/family know how much I loathe the 80s rock).
This movie should get a couple nominations, including a Best Picture, Best Actor (Mark Wahlberg), Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and Supporting Actress (Amy Adams). I give this movie 4 1/2 Quacks
The Kings Speech (in theaters now 12/26/10, location Regal Kingstowne 16)
All the world is a stage...is the Shakespeare line from "As You Like It", but it is very appropriate for the approach taken to telling the story of how King George VI ascended to the throne and the personal challenges that he had to overcome. This movie delivers on every level from a superbly written story, delicate directing, and finished with amazing acting from Colin Firth (King George VI), Helena Bonham Carter (Queen Elizabeth) and Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist.
My knowledge of the British Monarchy isn't the best, but this story was very intriguing in how the weave between the life of the monarchy and the personal life of King George VI. It is the challenges of his personal life that are unveiled during the scenes with the therapist that make the frustrations and emotions come out. However, the stage is stolen by Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter in how they provide the delicate counterbalance to the harsh realities of the royal life.
The film poignantly points out the contrast of the overwhelming difficulty for the King of England to speak and the overpowering oration skills of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. In one scene the royal family is watching a news real of Hitler giving a very impassioned and dynamic speech as only Adolf Hitler could do, and the King's daughter asks her father what he is saying. King George enviously replies, "I don't know, but he seems to be saying it rather well."
I will be surprised if this movie doesn't get nominated for several awards. Among them should be a Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush) and Adapted Screenplay. In the end this movie receives a respectable 5 Quacks.