"In the Spanish movie magazine " Imagenes de actualidad", March issue, pages 34-35, in a preview of the summer pictures, there is an article about CM and some pics.

Cinderella man: a boxer called Russell Crowe.

Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger are the stars of the new film by Ron Howard: the true story of James Braddock, who became one of the most famous boxers of the depression era. It is one of those projects that have good reasons to be in the Oscars of next year.

It hasn't been a surprise to anybody the fact that Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank made their way to the Oscars with punches. After all it is not a secret that boxers stories, when well done, usually move the members of the Academy. Remember that in 1977 Sylvester Stallone could be nominated to the Oscar for best leading actor for the role of Rocky Balboa, perhaps because they still hadn't realised that Stallone was able to play only one character, or perhaps because between the punches and the story of an impossible triumph the voters of the academy were moved enough to lose any common sense. When in the ring we have a real actor, an actor who can really act, as De Niro in the role of Jake La Motta in Raging Bull, nothing could prevent him from getting his Oscar.

All this explains that many cherished the main role in CM, the film based on the life of boxer James Braddock, who, in the 1930s, became a heavyweight champion against any possible predictions. For years and with a couple of directors working in succession it was Ben Affleck who had to star, since when four years before the project began from a script by Cliff Hollingsworth that was to be directed by Billy Bob Thornton.

But Billy Bob Thornton was not very popular so the Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom, who brought his own scriptwriter, Charlie Mitchell, was to replace Thornton.

But when Hallstrom began to realise that the career of Affleck started to collapse and that the project was being delayed, he chose to look for more promising films.

It was then when the team who was to make CM into a film arrived: Ron Howard was to direct, Akiva Goldsman was to rewrite the script, and the triumphal couple Russell Crowe and Renée Zellweger were to star.They all turned it into one of the most expected projects of the year.

After all, it doesn't happen very often that four oscar winners reunite to make a film. Although CM was previously scheduled to be released by the end of 2004, so that it could have some chances in the oscars race, the Studio chose to postpone the release until June 2005, thinking that by the end of the year people could still remember this story about unexpected victories.

James Braddock was a New York boxer who began his career very young, a career in which defeats were more usual than victories, until when, after breaking one of his hands, he decided to stop boxing and to accept a job as a docker in the port.

But the great depression hit the States severely and the economic situation of Braddock, who had a wife and three kids, became critical and he decided to accept the help of the government in order to survive, which caused in him enormous despair.

At the beginning of 1934 a boxer called Corn Griffin needed an opponent in order to continue his chances for the title. It was then when Joe Gould ( Paul Giamatti), a friend of Braddock's and later his manager, persuaded the promoter of Griffin to accept Braddock as opponent, with the only aim that the poor boxer could earn some money.

Nevertheless, Braddock won him in few rounds and unexpectedly began his race for the title until when, after a few fights, he got to fight against the world champion, the fearsome Max Baer ( Craig Bierko), a legendary boxer who had killed two rivals in the ring with his fists.

Although the odds on Baer were 10 to 1, Braddock won and became the new world champion, and as he became a millionaire overnight a sports commentator nicknamed him "Cinderella man". We don´t know whether the film will tell the story after that victory.

Braddock managed to avoid fighting for two years, during which he made a little fortune by giving conferences. Finally, another legendary boxer, Joe Louis, knocked him out in the eight round and became the new champion.

Thanks, Virginiamanis, who translated.


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