"The Fighter" doesn't have much of a chance to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but it's always nice to see a sports movie nominated . . . except when it doesn't deserve to be, as in last year's "The Blind Side."
Part of the point of expanding the field from five to 10 last year - other than forcing Oscar suckers such as myself to pay to see every nominee before the awards show - was to give underserved genres such as sports and animated films more nods.
Only three films primarily focused on sports - "Rocky," "Chariots of Fire" and "Million Dollar Baby" - have won the big prize. (Unless you count "Gladiator," which pertained to athletic contests that probably would have been banned in New York State along with MMA.)
But "The Fighter" has more than a fighting chance to win supporting actor awards for my old pal Christian Bale and/or Amy Adams or Melissa Leo.
Previous supporting actor winners in sports films include two memorable characters played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Jerry Maguire" and Morgan Freeman in "Million Dollar Baby."
Bale is a very good bet to join them.