By Andrea Selitto
Boxing has always been an excellent metaphor for life: at any moment, anyone can find themselves on the ropes, and at any moment, anyone can come back and win the fight. Southpaw is a film about both. Like all great boxing films, it is a tale about facing adversity and finding the strength to overcome life’s greatest challenges.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter and Richard Wenk, Southpaw follows boxer Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he struggles to find redemption both inside and outside of the ring. After the sudden, tragic death of his wife (Rachel McAdams), Hope finds himself caught in a downward spiral of grief and self-destruction that leads to him losing custody of his daughter (Oona Laurence) and facing the end of his boxing career. Abandoned by his manager and long-time friend (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and demoralized by the loss of his family, Hope turns to trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to help him turn his career, and his life, around.