Here’s a link to the Fighter piece. (Note: as for “best boxing film ever,” Raging Bull is still a head above the rest, for my money. But The Fighter is now in the conversation, along with Rocky.)
But my favorite part of this assignment actually wasn’t anything related to the movie(which is Oscars-worthy, plural). It occurred toward the end of my conversation with Christian Bale, on the balcony of a hotel bar in Santa Monica, when I couldn’t help but ask him about Newsies—Scott Silver advised me to duck after doing so—which happens to be, in all seriousness, one of my favorite movies of all time. To wit:
Me: So, in all seriousness, Newsies is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Bale: That’s funny. I don’t think there’s any boxing in there. Although there was a stuntman there on Newsies called Gene LeBell. Familiar with that guy?
Me: Unfortunately, no.
Bale: He’s a legendary stuntman who could knock anybody out like that. [Snaps his fingers.] He did it with a couple extras. I believe he did, at one time, fight, a bear, in a boxing ring. I think Gene won?
Me: Well, if he was alive when you met him.
Bale: So he must’ve won.
Me: I was just surprised that there wasn’t that same level of choreography in The Fighter.
Bale: Well, we could’ve done “The Fighter“ with an exclamation mark. And then it becomes a musical, doesn’t it?
That, incidentally, would have made it the best ever.