WARRIOR--Directed by Gavin O'Connor/Starring Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton/screenplay by Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorfman from a story by O’Connor and Dorfman/139min/PG-13
Bifocal Reviews by Barbara and Gordon Rich
(G) I watched this whole film—some scenes more than once—and there is no question that Nick Nolte is a great actor. In fact, I would not be unhappy with any of the Best Supporting Actor category nominations winning the Oscar at this year’s event which includes Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer and
Max von Sydow. The movie as a whole was kind of a Rocky-Meets-Rocky’s Brother—story for me, which is O.K. I did like the fact that, as with the Stallone films of the Rocky series, part of the drama turned on a true knowledge of the Full Contact Fight game. One brother was a brawler, the other a strangler (I’m simplifying here). In the artificial environment of a UFC, single-elimination tournament that was center stage for the big showdown, literally anyone could win. I also liked Jennifer Morrison (of television’s HOUSE fame) in her role as the conflicted wife of one of the brothers. I give it a 2 ½. I was never bored, but I don’t think the audience is broad enough to carry Nolte to an Oscar.
(B) I knew that Nick Nolte was nominated for an award based on his appearance in this film, so I reluctantly decided to at least view his scenes. It was just Nick doing a good job at roles he does best. He is more like a character actor. He does the drunk, who messes up, then tries to mend his ways. Very reminiscent of his early Rich man Poor man TV series. Having viewed just a few scenes, that is all I can comment on.
I give Nolte’s performance two binoculars.