Cinderella Man (Ron Howard, 2005)


I just got done watching Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man (2005) for what has to be AT LEAST my sixth time, and surprisingly, I think I cried the hardest during this last viewing. Yes, I am one of those girls (you know, those girls who cry in every single movie, inspirational drama or screwball comedy, Kramer vs. Kramer or Bridesmaids), and unlike some stupid rom com that undeservedly drew the tears to my eyes, this one really does rend the heartstrings with its story of what one man would do for the sake of his family. But in all honesty, I have to admit – I think the tears came that much faster because the eponymous “Cinderella Man,” Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock, radiates everything that is not me. He’s hard-working, persevering, and courageous; he’s loving, selfless, and humble. That’s why these inspirational stories always get to me – they show me what one needs to be successful, and that the person I am now is frankly not there yet. Or even anywhere remotely close. Riding off the high of one of these inspirational movies, I always feel the need to turn my life around – you know, be a bit more friendly or get off my ass and start writing again. Jim Braddock’s success story featured in Cinderella Man inspired me to start writing this blog, once and for all. Firstly, because Mr. Braddock showed me that anything is possible if you work hard enough, believe in yourself, and have something to drive you forward. And secondly, because damn…that movie is just that good. See for yourself.

Cinderella Man (2005) directed by Ron Howard features Russell Crowe as Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock, Renee Zellweger as his wife Mae Braddock, and Paul Giamatti as Jim’s smack-talking but kind-hearted manager Joe Gould. All three – especially Giamatti – give spectacular performances, bringing depth to a film that can easily be passed off as yet another inspirational sports drama. The film plots the rise of one-time heavyweight champion Jim Braddock from the ridicule of the boxing world as he fights not out of passion for boxing or desire for fame, but to keep his family together and grasp the American Dream as the Great Depression strives to snatch it all away.


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