Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Fighter (♦♦♦♦)

Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is a boxer who is running out of time to make a name for himself due to his age. His mother (Melissa Leo) is his manager, and his half brother Dicky (Christian Bale) is his trainer, but Dicky is fighting a drug addiction and he is always late for engagements. When escaping from the police for fraud and for impersonating an officer, Dicky resists arrests and is sent to jail, which turns out to be Mickey’s blessing because for the first time in his boxing career he has a chance to be the fighter he wants to be, without the interference of his mother and family.

I did not like the “old” feel of the movie: it is somewhat dark, almost hazy as a film ten or twenty years older. I did like that the first part of the movie focused on the family dynamics; I got to know who was who and how that person fit in the story. The second part of the movie was about the development of Mickey as a boxer, once he started winning fights until his ultimate fight where he became the welterweight champion of the world.

Mark Wahlberg’s performance is good, but not too different from others he has done. The most notable performances in the film are those of the supporting characters interpreted by Amy Adams as Charlene, Mickey’s girlfriend, Melissa Leo as Mickey and Dicky’s mother, and especially Christian Bale’s who truly shines both as a drug addict and as a trouble maker wishing for a comeback. The boxing scenes are not only credible but exciting as well.

A good movie but not unforgettable.