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Crowe's 'Cinderella Man' performance is Oscar-worthy

By By CELINA MILLER
Everyone deserves a second chance. James J. Bullock got one and proved he was a true winner. The former boxing star found himself and his family in down trodden times during the depression.
It was then, unemployed and hungry that he fought his way back to take control of his life and be the family man of his dreams. It is hard to imagine how difficult life was during that time. This story is an inspiration. The movie is a great work of art.
Russell Crowe is sure to be nominated for an Academy Award with his depiction of the boxing great Bullock. This will be the third nomination for the bad boy movie star who previously won an Oscar for a Beautiful Mind (also directed by Howard). Recently in the news for stirring up another fight, Crowe should be known more for his acting than his antics.
Paul Giamatti's performance as Bullock's longtime manager Joe Gould is outstanding. Also affected by the depression, this proud man risks everything to make a comeback in life as well as in boxing. The actor's star is shinning brightly these days as Sideways (his most recent movie) was last year endeared by critics earning critical acclaim. The Academy may recognize Giamatti as well.
Renee Zellweger plays the hero's wife May. Devout, Mrs. Bullock can't stand the fact that her husband may be dismantled in the ring. Her prayers are answered when her husband is hurt and is no longer able to fight. Zellweger is also a former Oscar winner who brought home the award for her performance in the musical Chicago.
Like recent boxing movie Million Dollar Baby (an Oscar winner) this movie's protagonist fights for everything he'll ever have. It's a familiar feeling for many when life can be overwhelming at times. To see how James J. Bullock handled his hard times is moving. It's such a joy to see a great movie about the true, touching and heartwarming life a great man.
If you're going to see one movie this year, this is the one to see.
Celina Miller's movie reviews appear in the Sunday edition of The Brewton Standard.