Based on the true story of the early years of “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) an unlikely welterweight boxer. With his crack addicted brother – Dicky (Bale) – as his trainer, Ward must train his hardest to break into the big time with the rest of his family breathing down his neck. When things turn for the worst with Dicky being imprisoned, Micky must turn away from his family and side with his girlfriend, to make his way to be the welterweight world champion.
This gritty and street-smart film gives a view inside the life of a man struggling to decide between his family and his dream. Wahlberg as Micky suits the role well, throwing punches like a professional. His passion for the role is clear, training everyday for it since 2005 just to play this role.
But it is Bale who completely steals the story. Although the story centres around Micky, Dicky is the one who you feel that the story is about. Dicky is Micky’s half-brother come trainer who is an ex-boxer himself. However, after falling out of boxing he falls into a crack den. Although a serious addict, he still stays loyal to his family and son.
Following him from the very beginning from the depth of a crack-addicted life, into prison and out again, it is Dicky you get to know the most. Bales sheer enthusiasm for the role, losing the majority to his Dark Knight muscles to become the skinny Dicky, plays through the character clearly. It is Dicky we care for the most, feeling sympathy for him as he struggles through prison and with his drug addiction. The realisation of how much of a mess his life is, is the turning point in his life and we really feel how much determination he has to turn his life round. I personally think that Bale should be up for best actor rather than supporting actor at the Oscars, but I think he will be the run away winner…if he doesn’t, there is something wrong! Brilliant film, well deserving of the Oscar nominations and is a thoroughly inspiring story