Cinderella Man [DVD] 
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Critically acclaimed biopic based on a true story. James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe), dubbed 'Cinderella Man', was a once-promising light heavyweight who suffered a string of losses in the ring and broke his right hand. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labour on the docks of Hoboken, while only his manager (Paul Giamatti) still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help support his wife (Renee Zellweger) and children. One of the sport's oddest couples, the diminutive, loquacious manager and the burly quiet boxer start to stage an impossible comeback. In the span of less than twelve months Braddock gets his shot at heavyweight champion Max Baer (Craig Bierko), renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. As a 10-1 underdog, Braddock carries the hopes and dreams of the desperate Depression-era working class on his shoulders.
Cinderella Man is a wholesome slice of old-fashioned Americana, offering welcomed relief from the shallowness of many summer blockbusters. In dramatising the legendary Depression-era comeback of impoverished boxer Jim Braddock, director Ron Howard benefits from another superb collaboration with his A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe, whose portrayal of Braddock is simultaneously warm, noble, and tenacious without resorting to even the slightest hint of sentimental melodrama.
The desperate struggle of the American Depression is more keenly felt here than it was in Seabiscuit, and Howard shows its economic impact in ways that strengthen the bonds between Braddock, his supportive wife--Renée Zellweger--and three young children, and his loyal manager, played by Paul Giamatti; all are forced to make sacrifices leading up to Braddock's title bout against heavyweight champion Max Baer in one of greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport.
Boasting the finest production design, cinematography and editing that Hollywood can offer, this is a feel-good film that never begs for your affection; it's just good, classical American filmmaking, brimming with qualities of decency and fortitude that have grown all too rare in the big-studio mainstream. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of this fare we have seen in numerous boxing movies over the years but it is all very well realised by director Ron Howard.
The poverty and the sheer squalor of the depression years are also portrayed convincingly and Jimmy’s constant battle to provide for his family is extremely moving.
Paul Giamatti is terrific as Jimmy’s manager though Rene Zelwegger is really wasted in the role of the wife.
It is a long movie but well worth the time.
Cinderella Man has to be the best film of 2005. It is a heart warming story which is wonderfully acted and sensitively directed by Ron Howard. Russell Crowe is magnificent in the title role and his performance is excellently supported by the underrated Paul Giamatti as his long time friend and trainer.
Renee Zellweger is also very good, though possibly slightly wasted, in the less demanding role of Braddock's wife.
Others before me have outlined the story admirably so I don't wish to go into great detail. I would just like to say that I benefitted from not previously knowing the history or outcome of the story. Suffice to say at the film's climax, when underdog Jim Braddock is in the ring fighting champion Max Baer for the world heavyweight title, I was at first on the edge of my seat, and by the fifteenth round up on my feet punching thin air as I tried to help Braddock with every ounce of energy.
I could go further with my ultimate reaction, but that would unfairly give away the ending to anyone who hasn't yet seen the movie.
In summary, if you enjoy films that deal with good old fashioned human values such as loyalty, humility, love and courage over adversity, told in a sincere yet unsentimental way, then I suggest you purchase this movie today. You will not be disappointed...
Crowe looks the part of Jim Braddock; his face is craggy and lined, his tired eyes reflect desperation, fear, and hope. He is as convincing in the brutal boxing scenes as he is in the tender moments he shares with Renee Zellweger, who plays Jim's wife, Mae. The sentimentality never becomes maudlin, however, and we come to like and admire Jim for the love he has for his family and his determination to do whatever he has to do to support them and keep them together.
Two scenes define Braddock even more than the boxing matches: The first is when he is reduced to begging, hat in hand, from his former associates in order to have the heat turned back on in his pitiful basement apartment. The second is when Jim goes to the relief office and repays the money he had been given. These scenes show Jim was a man of intense pride and inner strength; he didn't complain about being poor or shirk his responsibilities. "Cinderella Man" is a very good fim!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cinderella Man is a great boxing movie with Rusell Crowe portraying James Bradock life story. He does a great job I have to say. Blu Ray quality is really good. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Quantum Eagle
Wow what a film.
First time I watched it I was on ththe edge of my seat. Really enjoyable and worth adding to your DVD collection.
Well packed and plays well. Many thanks, good storyline of what actually happened years ago.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing film. Great action, very moving and we'll worth watching.Published 3 months ago by edwin dempsey