Unable to press-screen David O. Russell’s much-anticipated The Fighter until the week of November 10, Paramount has been valiantly building buzz until then. The gritty $24-million Relativity Media-funded biopic stars Mark Wahlberg (who earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination for The Departed) in the title role as welterweight Micky Ward. Amy Adams plays his girlfriend (she was nominated for supporting actress for Doubt and Junebug). The movie also stars Oscar nominee Melissa Leo (Frozen River) and super-skinny Christian Bale, who steals the film–I hear–in the kind of showy role that Oscar voters love, as Wahlberg’s crack addict brother and trainer. (Bale has never been nominated). The long-in-the-works drama is Russell’s first since the flop I Heart Huckabees in 2004; he took over The Fighter from Darren Aronofsky, who made The Wrestler instead.
The two-minute The Fighter spot below ran on the Sunday finale of Mad Men.
Paramount has five would-be Oscar contenders on its slate. Scorsese’s February release Shutter Island will likely earn some technical nods. The high-profile education documentary, Waiting for Superman has a shot not only at scoring a doc nomination, but landing on the top ten best picture list. DreamWorks Animation threw an L.A. DVD/Oscar party last week for 3-D smash How to Train Your Dragon, likely to be one of only three animated nominees this year. And the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit is another December release that is not yet ready to screen.