Produced by Mark Wahlberg and David Hoberman
Directed by David O. Russell
Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Produced and directed by Danny Boyle
Screenplay by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
Distributed by Fox Searchlight
Mark Wahlberg produced The Fighter and convincingly plays its protagonist, “Irish” Micky Ward, a talented, tenacious, but far from spectacular boxer. Relentless and disciplined, Ward rebounded from a string of early losses to win and briefly hold championship belts from two of the game’s gaggle of sanctioning bodies, one in 1997, the other in 2000.
The film follows the traditional formula of its kind, moving from failure to redemption, but doesn’t indulge in the allegorical impulses common to the genre. Its Ward is not a proletarian in the grip of capitalist exploitation. He is a journeyman pugilist hoping to score some good paydays before age retires him. Wahlberg and Ward are close friends, and the actor wanted to tell the boxer’s story as honestly as possible. He cast most of the roles himself and chose for his director David O. Russell, a filmmaker he trusts, having worked with him twice before. For realism’s sake, he hired several nonactors from Ward’s...