Among the many attention-and-statuette-grabbing performances in The Fighter,
Mark Wahlberg’s work in the title role has been targeted as the
picture’s weak link—a void in the center of the ring. But the more I let
the movie sit with me, the more I find Marky Mark’s passivity
resonating. The character of Micky Ward is distinguished from other
boxing heroes (and other Wahlberg characters) by being a punching bag
for his family’s ambitions; the way he absorbs the blows of his mom, his
brother and his Irish chorus of sisters recalls the stoic confusion of
other bruised toughs back to a young Nick Nolte, or even Burt Lancaster
in The Killers. Academy, Hollywood Theatre, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst, Mission, Valley.
- Best paired with: Oakshire Espresso Stout.
- Also showing: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (BAM@Laurelhurst).