Excellent. Great acting (Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti), great costumes, great director (Ron Howard).
But the best part was the story. You might hear it referred to as a boxing movie. That may be true - it is the true story of James J. Braddock, a Depression Era boxer. But it is not really about boxing. It is a wonderful real life illustration of a strong marriage relationship and a man and woman who pull together to endure hardship for the purpose of family and children. We see modeled that mysterious miracle of unity that occurs when a man and wife allow their lives to become thoroughly intertwined, totally involved and dependent on one another in a Godly fashion. This is a picture of her needing him, him needing her, her love being his strength, his strength filling her need - unable to separate that love from that strength and not being able to tell where one starts and the other ends. Their lives are one in many ways.
This is a husband who is a true man - he cares and provides for his wife and children. This is a first priority for him. He loves them, even more than his work, even more than fame, even more than success. His wife's love means more than anything to him. But even when she fails he keeps focused. He still loves her. He is motivated by his promises to her and the children. He is the real deal.
And his wife. Not the modern day woman. Her life is lived for him and for the children. She supports him through good times and hard times. When he is not able to provide for them, she doesn't dole out blame; she doesn't frown. Instead she encourages and cheers him on. She stands by him. She loves him. She loves the children. She wants them to succeed and prosper. She is strong, beautiful, willful at times, but always there for him. She is strength for him, beautiful for him, and willing to yield to him. She is a real woman.
Do I like boxing? No. It seems hardly worthy to be called a sport.
Did I love the movie?