Directed by: David O. Russell. I had some vague Oscar fever and a friend of mine was vaguely harassing me about my lack of David O. Russell experience. I’m glad to report that this is not at all similar to I Heart (fucking) Huckabees, which if you look back, I didn’t hate but whose title I would rather eat a live porcupine than utter aloud. I was skeptical about this one for other reasons: I think I might be sick and tired of this flawed-hero-redemption-through-sports narrative. Ya know—The Wrestler, Rocky, probably 800 other movies I can’t think of right now. Ya know—that whole deal. There’s a similar movie out called Warrior and it’s caught my eye simply because it’s got Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte in it, so I guess I’m really not nuts about Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. BUT, that being said, I don’t hate them or anything, and in this film in particular, they both do a swell job at creating really complex, unique characters, incubating a really messy, complicated, but deep and genuine fraternal relationship. Without either of them, this whole thing falls through. The other leads (the ones not on the cover and also the ones without penises), Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, also help carry this thing. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have given much of a shit either. It’s a good story, it’s an interesting story, but I guess I’ve seen Hollywood try this thing too many times. Even when it’s successful, as it is here, I kind of just don’t give a shit at some level. But it is, technically, a pretty good movie, if you’re into the whole human drama, triumph over success, golden clouds and chocolate sunshine over everything (even though there are obstacles and everything, but ultimately the obstacles are overcome and they live happily ever after the end blah blah blah blah blah…….I’m so bored by this whole paradigm, I’m not even going to close this bracket.