Ron Howard’s brother’s latest film — Cinderella Man — is another in the growing library of motion pictures that have turned boxing films into heart-warming tearjerkers. It’s the true story (pretty much) of fighter James J. Braddock and his remarkable comeback from injury to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Russell Crowe, once again magnificent, rings the bell as the depression-era boxer who, when asks why he fights says, “For milk” (for his three kids). Renée Zellweger plays his wife and Paul Giamatti is superb as his manager. The film is directed by Ron Howard.
Clint Howard plays a referee in an early fight scene; Ron Howard’s father, Rance Howard, plays a fight ring announcer.
It’s an entertaining film with no car chases or explosions, though plenty of blood and guts. It does seem as if the drama of the championship fight is drawn out a little too long and that the forces of good and evil lack much subtlety or nuance (did no one root for Max Baer?), but those faults are relatively minor.
Four-and-a-half ristras on NewMexiKen’s scale of one-to-five (five being best).