By Debbie Elicksen.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Southpaw (2015) is an emotionally-charged drama about Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose professional win column sits at 43-0, despite that his last fight went right down to the wire. As impressive as his career has been, his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) begs him to take a break so his body can recover and he can spend more time with his daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). Meanwhile, his nemesis Miguel Escobar (Miguel Gomez), a fellow boxer he hasn’t fought yet, surrounded by his shady entourage, eggs on Billy’s predictable fiery temper at a charity function. A scuffle ensues, Maureen is shot and dies.
Billy unravels and falls into a deep depression while looking for revenge. His agent tells him his money is running out and he is pressured to fight an HBO match in Vegas. He fights, but doesn’t put anything into it and loses badly and hits the official. He is suspended for a year. He continues his reckless behavior out of the ring, loses custody of his daughter and their home. He is given a fresh start to pick up his life and an opportunity for redemption when he meets a new trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker).
The movie was written by Kurt Sutter and the casting was superb. Gyllenhaal is phenomenal in this movie. It may be one of, if not his best role to date.
This movie is definitely 4.5 stars out of five.