That Southpaw Tho…

Well, well, well, now we all know Jake Gyllenhaal is an amazing actor, I mean have you SEEN Nightcrawler? He made you feel a un-easy as one ever could and he did it ever so calmly. He took you from one man who probably would bruise like a peach to one who welcomes a good blow to the face, it makes his character hungry for the fight. Yes I am talking about the newly released Southpaw.

You know when you see a movie and you become completely immersed in a story that your breathing becomes slow, and you forget everything bad in your life for 2 hours and even after its over you are thankful you saw this movie? Well for me this was Southpaw. It starts off as any great boxing movie would, with Billy Hope portrayed by the well seasoned, ever growing Jake Gyllenhaal, in the ring at the height of his career, with his wife Mo (Maureen) Hope, portrayed by the beautiful, my Canadian home girl, Rachel McAdams right by his side, having his back, through thick and thin. You are introduced to a man who in not only a boxer but a husband who hustles for this family and a father who would fight the world for his daughter.
This movie took me on probably what would have to be the biggest movie emotional roller coaster I have ever been on; at first the audience is in love with a family and then all of a sudden we came down when *Spoiler: Mo dies from a gunshot wound as a result of a ego contest between Billy Hope and Miguel Gomez’s character, fellow boxer Miguel Escobar. That moment after the funeral when his daughter (Leila) portrayed by Oona Laurence, can’t tell him that she misses her mom and she can’t because she knows it would break him, forget about it! I was already a mess, and to make matters worse, the man selfishly contemplates taking his own life and leaving her. Then it happened, as a result of his rash and harsh choices his daughter Leila is taken away from him and he has to now fight not for his ego but for her.
So there I was in the theatre, broken hearted, enjoying the soundtrack, mad at the fact that this man is down in his rightful sadness learning to be a good father, and the need to yell at the movie screen, “Come on Billy you can do this, it’s one step at a time”. So you can imagine my sigh of relief when he goes to the great Forest Whitaker’s character Tick Wills for training and a job and he said, “I will give you my everything, you have my everything”. Through his training to be a better father you see his struggle to get his pissed off daughter to talk to him and in her anger I became and angry for her, I mean how dare he try to force her to be happy with him again, I mean he could’ve walked away that night she dies when she asked him to, but his ego got the best of him, as far as I was concerned up until a point his hot head was the reason he had to start all over. After all was said and done after hard work, training, no cursing, he does it, he is asked to join a charity fight, where he catches the eye of his previous manager, Jordan Manis portrayed by the hustler himself Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson who now wants him back to fight the man in part responsible for the death of his wife. My emotions are telling me, no, just go on with your life you are doing so well and if you fight this man your need to please those around you and the dollar signs will be for the wrong reasons. But then I swallowed my movie goer pride and remembered, “you silly woman, you get to see 3 minute training montage featuring an Eminem song that you cannot wait to work-out too” and watched him sweat, block and upper cut his way to a win for him and his daughter. And yes tears were shed.

Antoine Fuqua took me on an incredible journey, and it is a movie in which I can proudly say I went to see, will brag about, and will own. To Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Curtis “50 Cent Jackson”, Oona Laurence, and Antoine Fuqua, thank you for this movie. I will be gravely disappointed if this movie and Jake Gyllenhaal is not nominated for an Oscar.

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