Well, last night I went to see Cinderella Man. I'm not proud, all I can say is thanks to the Evilling STandards it was free. OK. So, in place of my scheduled book review, here is a film review.
My mate I was with had a quick potted review - Russell Crowe is fit. Fair do's. Here's my potted review "...and that was a Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Republican Party."
Don't believe me? Well, look at it this way. A gadgee, down on his luck, suffering in the Great Depression just wants to keep his familly together. He works hard, and get a shot at doing what he does professionally, and makes a break that gets him out. His drunken bum of a friend who - unless I misheard - is, significantly, an ex-stockbroker (i.e. not echte prole) now working on the docks gets killed in a riot in the Hooverville Shantytown after trying to organise the unemployed. Interestingly, the riot happens off camera, and although we see some police brutality in teh camp, the description of events is from a police officer, so we don't get the rioters side of events.
Russel Crowe - as James J. Braddock the boxer - isn't interested in organisation - you can't fight greed, corruption and incompetence (quoth he). He can fight in the ring. He chides his son for stealing food for the familly, he even returns his dole money after winning a few bouts. The archetypical all American bootstrap boy, supported all the way by his poor wifey who's job it is to stand behind him and ineffectually try occaisionally to protect him from his own boxing.
As he makes his come back, otehr hard-up people see his story as offering hope for their own rejuvenation, and his whole community rallies to his cause.
Of course, it may well be a true story, but it's a true story chosen for a purpose - if you're down, think of the kids, pull yourself together, and drag yourself up.
Fundamentally this is an imobilising story, told through every conceivable cliché of the boxing movie. In the words of Parker and Stone.
Montage, you've gotta have a montage, even Rocky had a montage.