09.06.05 - By Jim Amato: OUTSTANDING !!! That is really the best way that I can sum it up. Russell Crowe should be strongly considered for an Oscar for his portrayal of James J. Braddock. The screen play, the production and direction were all A-1 ! Even the fight scenes were superb. I heard Angelo Dundee himself had a lot to do with that. Angie even appeared in several scenes playing one of Braddock's corner men.
This was another Ron Howard masterpiece. One of the best films on the life of a non-fictitious boxer since the classic " Raging Bull " with Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta. Paul Giamatti should be nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role in playing Joe Gould, Braddock's loyal manager and friend. Rene Zellweger gave a solid performance as Braddock's devoted wife Mae. Talented Bruce McGill turned in a fine showing as promoter Jimmy Johnston and Fulvio Cecere did very well playing Johnny McAvoy who was the referee the night Braddock shocked the world and upset Max Baer. This is a must see for any boxing fan. It's that good.