Bleed for This (15)

After cocky Rhode Island boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) takes a brutal beating from Junior Welterweight Champion Roger Mayweather in 1988, fight promoter Lou Duva (Ted Levine) urges him to retire. Instead, Pazienza moves up two weight classes under the guidance of his shrewd new trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart). Rooney’s radical strategy pays off when Pazienza, 14 pounds heavier, takes down French boxer Gilbert Delé in front of a hometown crowd to become Super Middleweight champion of the world.

Pazienza doesn’t have much time to relish the victory, however. Shortly after the bout, a head-on car crash leaves him with a broken neck. Initially told he may never walk again, doctors recommend spinal fusion surgery that would guarantee mobility but effectively end his boxing career. Pazienza chooses the far riskier “halo” spine-stabilization treatment, requiring him to wear a circular metal brace screwed directly into his skull for six months.

Recovering in the modest home he shares with his fiercely devoted father Angelo (Ciarán Hinds) and anxious mother Louise (Katey Sagal), Pazienza secretly starts weight training in the basement with the help of a reluctant Rooney, and begins to rebound emotionally as well as physically. Thirteen months after the accident, the man fondly known as “The Pazmanian Devil” returns to the ring to do battle with Super Middleweight Champion Roberto Duran (Edwin Rodriguez) in the biggest fight of his life.

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and based on a true story, ‘Bleed For This’ artfully blends action, humour and tragedy to portray one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports.

Biography | Drama | Sport

Dir. Ben Younger, US, 2016, 117 mins

Cast:  Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Ciarán Hinds, Katey Sagal, Ted Levine

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