Bettina's Take: The Fighter

The Fighter has been getting lots of pre-Oscar buzz and for good reason: The performances are raw, honest, and in the case of Christian Bale, there was massive weight loss involved. Not The Machinist–level weight loss but a marked difference nevertheless.

Friday night’s Cinema Society screening was co-sponsored by Men’s Health, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Bale had followed some Eat This, Not That advice from editor in chief Dave Zinczenko.  

The movie deals with two brothers, both fighters, one a wasted crack addict on the decline from his glory days, the other an up-and-coming talent mismanaged by his mother, brilliantly portrayed by Melissa Leo.

There’s lots of tension, romance, love, abuse, and trashy big hair. Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg give some of the best performances of their careers.  

The packed after-party at the Top of the Standard hotel was filled with stars: Wahlberg and Adams were there, along with an unrecognizable Bale, who had grown a beard and mustache and gone back to a normal build. Gerard Butler, Patricia Clarkson, and Zuleikha Robinson were in the crowd, as was Florence Henderson: Mrs. Brady is tiny and looks incredible.

The lighting at the Standard makes everyone look gorgeous, even when they’re overserved. No wonder it’s had incredible staying power. I heard there was a huge wave of black-tie-clad revelers from the Botanical Gardens party that arrived after midnight, and the evening went on until 5 a.m. They had a great time, but I had a much better Friday!

Photo: Amy Adams in a black dress from Roland Mouret’s Spring 2011 collection at the screening of The Fighter.