All About Southpaw
Southpaw is directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Forest Whitaker. This is a story of a down-on-his-luck boxer who has a great record until something really bad happens in his life that forces him to rethink his priorities and try to get his a-game back again and deal with a very bad situation that happens.
Southpaw follows every genre trope in cliché of a boxing movie you could imagine. There’s the down-on-his-luck fighter, the family drama, the big climactic boxing match, the training montage. Basically if you replace Jake Gyllenhaal with Sylvester Stallone and tone down the language, you’d have rocky VII. They’re pretty much all the same.
Southpaw is one of the best acted movies in 2015. Gyllenhaal blows people away in this movie, Prisoners, Nightcrawler, and now, Southpaw. This guy is proving that he is a master class actor working today and he commits to this role not just physically with his body but the intensity of his performance portrayed in the ring and the subtlety of the drama that he’s able to create, especially with the actress who plays his daughter who actually impressed viewers a lot. This young girl is worthy of a Best Supporting Actress nomination, she was magnificent in this movie. She’s really trying, she felt so passionately real in this movie.
At times in this movie, you will feel quite literally beaten over the head with the drama and not in a bad way, it pounds you down into the ground when you witness some of the atrocities that this man has to go through. It’s not overly sappy, it’s not melodramatic. It’s a very well filmed, they used beautiful wide takes, some slow motion that really got you in that moment but he had this really effective way of making you seem like you were the boxer getting punched in the face.