It seems that every year there’s a film like this. A film that ends up feeling weighted more towards character portrayal than big picture. A film with at least one performance almost guaranteed to bring home the Oscar. Last year it was Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. Before that Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Before that Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. The list goes on. It’s not that David O. Russell‘s The Fighter is an incomplete film as much as it’s so entirely driven by its actors. This based-on-a-true-story is clean and concise, and doesn’t require much sifting to get at a core comprised of an underdog vs. the world and the massive weight of his family.