The Malibu Film Society will address the subject of education and the drama of family relationships in its Jan. 23 screenings at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue.
“The Fighter,” for which actors Melissa Leo and Christian Bale won Golden Globe Awards for their supporting roles (Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams were nominated in the categories of Best Actor and Actress), is an intense and moving true story about two brothers, Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Bale), and Ward’s struggle to make it as a boxer as his older brother, who is his trainer, battles a heroin addiction and his lost glory of 15-minutes of fame from knocking down Sugar Ray Leonard. The family dynamics of their mother (Leo) who blinds herself to Eklund’s addiction, instead believing he is indeed on the road to a comeback, as she struggles to support Ward in his career, and the intervening girlfriend (Adams) who sees that Ward’s family is dragging him down, is superbly played out in this film. The film is directed by David O. Russell, whose first feature film was the controversial and disturbing “Spanking the Monkey,” another film about twisted family dynamics. The film, its director and its actors, are all top contenders for the Oscars.
“Waiting for Superman,” which The National Board of Review has named Best Documentary, explores the fate of public education in the United States.
Directed by Davis Guggenheim, who directed the Academy-Award winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film follows a group of children who, while facing various challenges in their personal lives such as a father’s drug addiction and poverty, struggle to achieve greatness despite the odds, including this country’s failure to provide a decent and solid education to its children. However, as the film’s ending credits suggest, Guggenheim challenges all of us to become “Superman” and to pitch in and solve this growing and dire problem.
“Waiting for Superman” screens at 5 p.m. Sunday, to be preceded by a discussion about the charter application by Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School, hosted by the Malibu Special Education Foundation. “The Fighter” screens at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each film, or $25 for both, and can be purchased online at malibufilmsociety.org. Screenings take place at the Malibu Screening Room at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, 24855 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu.
By Laura Tate