In my (un)educated (but still valid, I believe) opinion, Russell Crowe can do no wrong as an actor. The man is amazing. In this beautiful story of the boxer James Braddock, Russell Crowe has the amazing ability to draw you into the story and make you feel every punch and celebrate every victory. Renee Zelwiger is also amazing in this film, and should be nominated for an Oscar, along with Crowe. She plays his wife perfectly, with the right amount of charm and concern.
Recently there have been several movies about everyday heroes during tough times in our nation, and it's no wonder, when our nation has just gone through and is still going through a tough time. While we have nowhere near the problems they had in The Great Depression, we have suffered tragedy and need inspiration to rise above it. These films help to do that.
I don't even like boxing and I loved this movie. In fact, boxing kind of makes me ill, because the punches look so painful and it just hurts to watch. But this movie was so good I could look past the pain and see the beauty and simplicity of the story, which is one of a man who was brave enough to risk everything to have the money to buy milk for his children. You can't get any more heroic than that.