'The Fighter': Darren Aronofsky's dig at Mark Wahlberg

It’s widely known that Darren Aronofsky almost directed The Fighter but chose to do The Wrestler instead. Ironically, Aronofsky, who’s up for the Best Director Oscar for Black Swan, is now competing with his successor, David O. Russell. So what happened when Aronofsky, Russell, and Mark Wahlberg collided during the awards season? Find out in Part 2 of my interview with the Fighter duo. Who do you think had the better one-liner?

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  • D

    Black Swan made more money cause its better Russell.

    • JP

      What D said. . .


        Aronofsky’s pivotal scene as a director was in Requiem when Marion performs with that other girl and everyone’s chanting “**s-to-**s” and the look on her face…it happens later with Rorke and Portman, kinda cool.

    • LaurieZ

      I disagree. I liked both movies, but I think The Fighter was the better one. Black Swan was a work of high camp at times.

      • Rob Grizzly

        What LaurieZ said…

      • Kris

        I must disagree. The Fighter was good but Black Swan was outstanding.

      • @NoMentionofKev

        High camp? ‘Black Swan’ was not high camp. If you want that, go watch Mega Python vs Gatoroid.

      • Jose

        The Fighter is a regular cliched, boring pretentious sports movie similar to The Blind Side. Black Swan all the way.

      • Ryan

        I liked both, but I was far more invested in the characters in The Fighter. Black Swan was absolutely riveting but not as emotional connected for me personally. Definitely a bit more “WTF?” though.

      • Mike

        Jose, you don’t see that you’re the one being pretentious by assuming a movie about a true story of hardship can’t take itself a bit seriously, or be real? How arrogant.

      • Jose

        Mike, the movie did not “feel” real though. Too often did every thing seem like Oscar bait and I could not take Melisa Leo’s character seiously.

    • Jonathan

      I agree with with D and NoMentionofKev. The Fighter was really good but Black Swan was a lot better

  • ben

    @D and JP. I love your knowledge of what’s a better movie. How much money it made. So does that mean Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is better The Hurt Locker? Oh wait, no it isn’t. I’m sure that they’re both good movies and to randomly dump on David O. Russell is just a stupid comment by a stupid person.

    • Sean

      Hurt Locker sucked. It’s about as realistic as Transformers.

      • UGH

        Ok. I hope that was sarcasm.

      • Sean

        It wasn’t. At least Transformers embraced its campiness on the road to being a horrible film. Hurt Locker purported to be some grand illumination on what goes on in the Middle East with EOD soldiers, but it was just an Iraq War version of “24”. Renner dons a hoody and sneaks off base and almost gets one of his own men killed? Wouldn’t he be court marshalled for going AWOL?

      • Erica

        Are you telling us that you can suspend belief for Transformers but not Hurt Locker?

      • Mike

        Apparently Sean doesn’t understand a thing about the reality of war, the military, and its personnel. Dozens of soldiers go away with murdering innocent civilians for years, while threatening their subordinates with their lives to not say anything. Then there are many who smuggle and deal with drugs, etc. Give me break, kid. What, you thought the military was this infallible killing machine? It’s certainly more professional today then it was in 1970, due to no draftees, but it’s got its problems. And no, he wouldn’t be court marshaled, considering he came right back…did you even watch the movie? Seems like you read a blog, or are just stupid.

      • Pittner

        I was in the military and I found The Hurt Locker to be incredibly realistic.

      • Jason C.

        Sean: You miss the point of The Hurt Locker, it wasn’t about the war, it was about the character. A character who an adrenaline junkie who would put others in danger to get his fix. It just happened to be set during a war. It’s as much a drug movie as a war.

      • JB

        He would have been court-martialed for simply leaving the base. Also I find it offensive that you would accuse “dozens of soldiers” of murdering innocent civilians. This seldom happens and when it does there are usually repricussions.

  • Sean

    Black Swan had great art direction and outstanding acting by Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel (sp?), but other than that it seemed to be Good not Great. I liked The Wrestler a lot more.

    HOWEVER, that being said, I’m glad Black Swan has made as much $$$ as it has, because it took years of effort by Aronofsky to raise the small amount of money it took to make the film. He should be proud his faith in the film paid off in spades.

  • Johnny D

    Can we all agree they are both equally fantastic movies? Well, I think so at least.

    • Al

      No, Black Swan was unintentional comedy.

      • Sara

        I agree entirely. I was surprised that I actually laughed my way through that movie and it’s ~drama~.

      • Woot

        Ever consider that some of the moments you laughed at were intentional comedic moments? When the dude who is the sorcerer in the play says “hey” to Natalie Portman in her prime of being crazy, everyone in the theater laughed.

      • sbwm

        The audience laughed at bad dialogue in the theatre we attended. Perhaps that’s the “camp factor” but it was still simply bad dialogue.

      • goober

        Well obviously the Academy disagrees.

      • Sean

        yeah they also gave Hurt Locker best pic so that’s not sayin much

      • goober

        Really so what is considered one of the most prestigeous honors that a film can ever recieve is invalid because “you” believe that they made the wrong choice for best picture last year okay then I guess I better agree

  • Steve

    Please, please tell me how it is “ironic” that both directors have been nominated for an Oscar? You’re a writer. You should know what the words you’re using mean.

    • Allison

      Actually Steve, it IS ironic that Aronofsky is being nominated against Russell for Best Director, not just because of the award, but because Aronofsky almost directed the movie Russell is nominated for. Did you even read the article? Please don’t waste space commenting if YOU don’t know what the word you’re commenting on means.

      • Al

        Please look up the word “ironic” in a dictionary.

      • Steve

        I am assuming you imploring me not to waste space if I don’t know what I’m talking about while commenting and showing you don’t know what you’re talking about was an attempt to provide irony in your response. At least I really hope so.

  • jmcg

    Aronofsky is a D-bag and a one trick pony.

    • Sean

      is that a reference to Springsteen’s song The Wrestler? if so…bravo.

  • blondie

    The Fighter was 10x a better movie than Black Swan.

    • goober


      • Frau Farbissina

        ALL LIES!

  • Shiny

    I’m sure the movie is great but David O is sooo gross. Just something slimey about the way the guy talks, blech.

  • sbwm

    The Fighter over Black Swan. Just loved that movie while BS is just ok overall.

  • Pittner

    I liked Black Swan but in my opinion it has become so overrated. I still haven’t seen The Fighter so I can’t say which one is better but I think Russell and Aronofsky overall are both very good filmmakers.

  • colin

    Dig? More like gentle nudge. What a wonderfully misleading article.

    • goober


  • Jess

    O’Russell just ripped off the Wrestler anyway…he’s lucky the Directing nod didn’t go to Nolan.

  • to: Ben, Sean, Pittner

    Ben – exactly.
    Sean – you are a moron.
    Pittner – the people I know who are in the military say that “Hurt Locker” was perfect. As for Black Swan, as I always write, we need to start finding true good actors, not mediocre ones who ride the wave of who are we going to make an unnecessary fuss about this year? Natalie Portman simply brought her signature frightened angel looks to Black Swan; she did the same in “V is for Vendetta.” Nothing new. I thought “Black Swan” was a drama, but in many parts of the movie, I laughed when I wasn’t supposed to. It was bad.

    • Sean

      I hope my brother stays far, far away from the “people” you know who are in the military. If men were doing the types of renegade acts Jeremy Renner’s character did in The Hurt Locker, it would make front page news of the New York Times. It’s not only dangerous (how many times did he put his men at risk?), but punishable.

    • goober

      Cool glad you think that way because that same frightened angel look is going to win the oscar this year so really is your oppinion at all valid?

      • carpette

        to: is a voice of reason in a swamp of opinion. Natalie P’s gears grind painfully in this performance, as they always do. No amt of effort can compensate for a talen deficit.

  • Shakespeare

    Black Swan was garbage, it was a mess of a film, like most of DA’s films. The only movie he made that was semi-alright was requim for a dream, and that was because it was based off of other material. His movies are just mind gang rapes, I don’t understand why people find them entertaining or that the academy would award such wasted talent!

    • Jymmymack

      I love blanket generalizations.

    • Sean

      You don’t even find artistic merit in The Wrestler? Saying none of DA’s films are good is quite a stretch and, like Jymmymack said, a blanket generalization.

    • Dan

      It can’t be! Shakespeare? Old Will Shakespeare, is that you? After all this time, you still have the power to move people with your wit and poetry. “Just mind gang rapes”, how it trips off the tongue! And still inventing words I see, like “semi-alright” and “requim”. To think that you wasted the 16th century on plays when your true calling was here on the EW comment board. Please, good sir, don’t stay quiet. Continue to dazzle us with your insight ere long!

  • ries

    okay, we are comparing apples to oranges here. compare the fighter to a real boxing movie like raging bull. it does not hold up. at all! i don’t know if it was editing, or if they tried to spell out the drug thing too much, or what. for f***s sake there was one fighting scene until the last 1/2 hour of the movie. and it’s titled the fighter! boo this man!
    that being said, the black swan is a good, refreshing, original story with outstanding performances. certainly not the best movie ever. but better than good.

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