The first real Oscar contender of 2005 has come to theaters in the story of the depression-era boxer, Jim Braddock. For each of the major players in Cinderella Man, I have these thoughts:
Russell Crowe: You are an engaging actor, and played a believable father, husband, friend and upstanding human being. You did Jim Braddock proud.
Renee Zellweger: You played the quintessential mother and wife, and stand-up-for-herself woman, with grace and strength.
Paul Giamatti: To date, your best work. Energy and heart were all over the screen, and as the character Jimmy Johnston said, "your mouth should be in the circus".
Ariel Waller, Connor Price and Patrick Louis: You formed the heart of the family, and have some of the most beautiful faces I've ever seen on screen.
Craig Bierko: You played the bad guy to the hilt, and brought an ominous air to the character.
Craig Hollingworth: Great dialog and attention to detail, in a screenplay that moves right along.
Ron Howard: You got the best out of these actors, and gave us a creative, heartwrenching view of an outstanding athlete and human being, who gave you a great story to tell.
Bravo to all, this goes on my list of great sports films, family films and love stories.