Pete Hammond Thinks “The Fighter” has Chops
Like myself and many other critics and bloggers have been saying, it really seems, and has seemed for a while that the Best Picture race has really come down to two horses: “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” However, insider Pete Hammond believes that David O’Russell’s “The Fighter” might be breaking its way into serious contention.
Here is an excerpt from his article over at Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com:
“It’s a great movie, it really is,” one major writer/director told me last night. An exec close to the film’s campaign says the studios are starting to hear this a lot and points out one director branch member who came up after the film and told her, “I think I’ve just seen the Best Picture of the year.” This exec says , “I know I should be drinking coffee but I am starting to drink my own Kool Aid. I think this thing is really starting to take off.”
While I definitely see Christian Bale becoming the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor and Melissa Leo is definitely gaining a lot of recognition, I don’t buy into this Best Picture logic. First of all, even though Mark Wahlberg isn’t just the new kid on the block anymore (no pun intended, but still kind of amusing), I don’t think he has the power or ability to lead role a film into a Best Picture win. Granted his only nomination came from the Best Picture winning film, “The Departed,” though it definitely helped to have Martin Scorsese behind it. Speaking of directors, David O’Russell is not the most-liked individual in Hollywood. Many have seen his tirades in the leaked Youtube videos of him practically throwing down with Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman, or heard the stories of getting into fistfights with George Clooney or putting producers into headlocks on the red-carpet. He is a publicity nightmare, and really kind of a jerk.
Finally, is it really possible that Oscar has not yet had its fill of boxing movies, for God’s sake. You’ve got one of the most overrated Best Picture winners of all time in “Rocky,” as well as a reasonably undeserving winner in “Million Dollar Baby.” In the meantime, amidst all that, you’ve got “Cinderella Man,” “Ali,” “The Hurricane,” and of course, “Raging Bull,” (the latter would have been enough for me). Is it really possible that Oscar has not yet had its fill of this often-melodramatic psuedo-sport genre and is this installment really good enough to be its standard bearer?
I refrain from believing so, but only time will tell.