Cinderella Man Analysis

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There is a moment early in "Cinderella Man" when we see Russell Crowe in the boxing ring, filled with cocky self-confidence, and I thought I knew what direction the story would take. I could not have been more mistaken. I walked in knowing nothing about Jim Braddock, "The Bulldog of Bergen," whose riches-to-rags-to-riches career inspired the movie. My friend Bill Nack of Sports Illustrated, who just won the A.J. Liebling Award, the highest honor a boxing writer can attain, could have told me all about Braddock, but I am just as happy to have gone in cold, so that I could be astonished by Crowe's performance. I think of Crowe as a tough customer, known to get in the occasional brawl. Yes, he plays men who are inward and complex, as in "The Insider" and "A Beautiful Mind," or men who are tempered and wise, as in "Master and Commander." But neither he nor anyone else in a long time has played such a nice man as the boxer Jim Braddock. You'd have to go back to actors like James Stewart andSpencer Tracy to find such goodness and gentleness. Tom Hanks could handle the assignment, but do you see any one of them as a prizefighter? Tracy, maybe. As the film opens, Braddock is riding high with a series of victories…show more content…
They find human ways to mirror the descent into despair; the Braddock family's poverty, for example, seems to weigh most heavily on the oldest son, Jay (Connor Price), who fears above all being sent away to live with "rich" relatives -- rich here meaning those with something to eat. He steals a sausage from a butcher shop, is caught, and then, in a scene typical of Braddock's gentle wisdom, is not punished by his father, but talked to, softly and earnestly, because his father instinctively knows why his son stole the sausage, and that the kid's daring was almost

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