Of late, there has been a resurgence of a movement in which filmmakers bring their own stories to life for the big screen. The latest visionary to follow the trend is Sir Kenneth Branagh, writing and directing coming-of-age drama Belfast. Inspired by his childhood during the beginning of The Troubles in the late 1960s, the semi-autobiographical plot centres around mischievous nine-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill) as he navigates school, religion, and his first crush. As hostility descends onto his close-knit working-class street, his ‘Ma’ (Caitríona Balfe) and his ‘Pa’ (Jamie Dornan) struggle with the rising tensions and are faced with a potentially life-changing decision for the family.
Boxing has been very good to cinema over the years, and has become a sub-genre in its own right, providing the canvas to tell triumphant tales that revolve around the squared circle. The latest effort of this ilk, based on the remarkable true story of former world champion Vinny Pazienza, is Bleed for This, written and directed by Ben Younger. Oozing with style, swagger and success, Vinny (Miles Teller) had it all but always wanted more. After teaming up with troubled trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) and reaching the top, a tragic accident stops him in his tracks and leaves him close to paralysation. Going against doctor’s orders and the advice from everyone around him, Vinny refuses to throw in the towel.