Cinderella Man ★★★½ 2005 (PG-13)
Taken from the true story of heavyweight boxer Jim Braddock (Crowe) whose promising career was stalled by an injury, winless streak, and a revoked license. Despite his fall from glory, wife Mae (Zellweger) and their children remain unwavering in their devotion while Braddock labors on the Jersey docks during the Depression. Out of shape after a year, he finds himself back in the ring and winning again, which leads to a title bout in 1935 against the (fictitiously) vicious Max Baer (wellplayed by Bierko). Just as in the Oscarwinning “A Beautiful Mind,” Crowe and Howard connect, with Crowe pounding out another stellar portrayal while Howard easily blends the fierceness of the boxing ring with the plainspoken goodness of familyman Braddock. 144m/C DVD, HD DVD . US Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill, Ron Canada, David Huband, Connor Price, Ariel Waller, Patrick Louis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Linda Kash, Nicholas (Nick) Campbell, Gene Pyrz; D: Ron Howard; W: Cliff Hollingsworth, Akiva Goldsman; C: Salvatore Totino; M: Thomas Newman. Screen Actors Guild '05: Support. Actor (Giamatti); Broadcast Film Critics '05: Support. Actor (Giamatti).