We go back in time to 1993 to the blue-collar town that is Lowell, Massachusetts. It's there we meet our main characters - Dicky (Christian Bale) and Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). This family could not be more dysfunctional. Their mother (Melissa Leo) is one thick-headed lady who tends to show favoritism towards Dicky above anyone else. Dicky’s crack addiction is the subject of an HBO documentary that takes place throughout the entire movie and then there's Micky. Micky has a hard time coming to terms that his hard-headed family, rather than helping him, is actually standing between him and his dream of becoming a championship boxer. The family would rather sit in a pool of denial then move forward. This is when Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams) enters the picture. She's a college dropout working as a bartender, and before long she starts dating Mikey. She ends up clueing him in to the world around him. This, of course, upsets his family. However, with blunt pushes from his dad (Jack McGee) and girlfriend, Mikey's dream becomes more and more achievable.
David O. Russell does a wonderful job making everything so believable. Mark Wahlberg's brilliantly conceived likable subdued performance.
The Fighter is definitely one of the best films to come out of 2010, just based on performances alone. It doesn't bring anything new to the genre, but I loved the acting, and I appreciated how good the fight scenes looked and felt. The film's raw, fight-to-the-end quality is what is so likable and at times gripping.