Girlfight

( 6 )

Overview

Karyn Kusama makes her debut with this sensitive, subtly told coming-of-age story about boxing and love. Diana Michelle Rodriguez is a tough though painfully honest girl living in Brooklyn. Surly, frustrated, and directionless, Diana seems to have a ticket on the express train to expulsion; she repeatedly finds herself in detention and schoolyard fights. At home, her weak though abusive single father Sandro Paul Calderon clearly favorites her bookish brother Tiny Ray Santiago over her. While running an errand for...
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Overview

Karyn Kusama makes her debut with this sensitive, subtly told coming-of-age story about boxing and love. Diana Michelle Rodriguez is a tough though painfully honest girl living in Brooklyn. Surly, frustrated, and directionless, Diana seems to have a ticket on the express train to expulsion; she repeatedly finds herself in detention and schoolyard fights. At home, her weak though abusive single father Sandro Paul Calderon clearly favorites her bookish brother Tiny Ray Santiago over her. While running an errand for her father, Diana finds herself in one of New York's more renowned boxing gyms, and she instantly connects to the same. Though traditionally a thoroughly male pastime in Latino culture, Diana perseveres and gains self-worth thanks to the help of gruff Panamanian trainer Hector Jaime Tirelli. Soon Hector assumes the role of Diana's father from her deadbeat biological progenitor. As Diana gains physical strength and agility in the ring, she finds herself drawn to the dashing boxer Adrian Santiago Douglas, who is supposedly involved with someone else. Slowly though, the two give into their mutual attraction and fall completely in love. Fate intervenes when the two lovers are scheduled to fight one another in the ring, forcing each to choose boxing or love. Executive-produced by none other than John Sayles, this film received rave reviews at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A "love match" isn’t normally something that plays out in a boxing ring, but that’s exactly what happens in Girlfight, a gritty little romantic drama set in an ethnic urban milieu. Making her screen debut, Michelle Rodriguez projects strength and determination as a hot-tempered Brooklyn high school senior who begins training at a local gym to work off her aggression. Ex-boxer Jaime Tirelli teaches her to channel her rage, and by accepting discipline and exerting willpower she becomes a contender for the local amateur championship. Enter promising fighter Santiago Douglas, whose strong feelings for Michelle are destined to be tested in a dramatic contest. First-time director Karyn Kusama adopts a workmanlike approach, eschewing flashy cinematographic effects and narrative gimmickry to let Rodriguez dominate the screen with her dynamic presence. Raw, unpolished, but surprisingly compelling, Girlfight upends squared-circle drama clich&ecute;s, and it should prove inspirational to young women seeking to invade arenas traditionally dominated by men. For the DVD edition, Kusama supplies a full-length commentary and appears in a making-of featurette.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Girlfight has all of the strengths of Kusama's mentor and executive producer John Sayles, but none of his weaknesses. Like Sayles, Kusama has created complex, subtly shaded characters who seem to leap off the screen. Unlike Sayles, whose film style can seem stiff and plodding, Kusama's work is agile and sure-footed. The story unfolds naturally and effortlessly, and clearly the director has a feel for both the outer boroughs of New York and the intricacies of boxing. As Diana, Michelle Rodriguez gives one of the most electrifying performances in recent memory. Possessing both a rough beauty and a gaze that can melt steel, she is utterly believable as a teenager trying to come into her own and as a fighter who can swing a mean right hook. Both a gritty character study and a feel-good film with no cheap emotional payoffs, Girlfight is a richly entertaining work and an example of American independent filmmaking at its finest.
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum
[Karyn Kusama developed an indie aesthetic through her work with John Sayles he's an executive producer here, shows a clear, personal filmmaking style -- naturalistic, sparsely decorated -- and a respect for her characters' weaknesses as well as their moments of athletic beauty. While [Michelle] Rodruiguez punches through the indie clutterto announce herself a superb new movie talent, so Kusama scores points in her first main event.

[Karyn Kusama developed an indie aesthetic through her work with John Sayles he's an executive producer here, shows a clear, personal filmmaking style -- naturalistic, sparsely decorated -- and a respect for her characters' weaknesses as well as their moments of athletic beauty. While [Michelle] Rodruiguez punches through the indie clutterto announce herself a superb new movie talent, so Kusama scores points in her first main event.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/4/2001
  • UPC: 043396055889
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michelle Rodriguez Diana
Jaime Tirelli Hector
Paul Calderon Sandro
Santiago Douglas Adrian
Ray Santiago Tiny
John Sayles Science Teacher
Victor Sierra Ray
Elisa Bocanegra Marisol
Shannon Walker Williams Veronica
Louis Guss Don
Herb Lovelle Cal
Thomas Barbour Ira
J.P. Linton Mr. Price
Iris Little Thomas Ms. Martinez
Dadi Pinero Edward
Belqui Ortiz Karina
Anthony Ruiz Tino
Jose Rabelo Al
Technical Credits
Karyn Kusama Director, Screenwriter
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Marco Cattoretti Costumes/Costume Designer
Sarah Green Producer
Martha Griffin Producer
Caroline Kaplan Executive Producer
Ellyn Long Marshall Casting
Luca Mosca Costumes/Costume Designer
Marie E. Nelson Casting
Maggie Renzi Producer
John Sayles Executive Producer
Jonathan Sehring Executive Producer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Plummy Tucker Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Definitely not Million Dollar Baby

    Don't waste your money or time. Mediocre acting put together with a bad script equals JUST SAY NO.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome movie!!

    This is a really great movie..One of my favorite Michelle Rodriguez films, she did a really good job in the movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Boxer

    This was a well-acted dramatic film for Ms. Rodriguez and I expect much out of her in the near future. She shows much grit heart, and ruthlessness that all the great boxers had, while having a great romantic side.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I love this movie

    When I first watched the movie I expected it to be just above average but it was so much better. Nothing about it was play by numbers and I didn't want it to end. It had a great storyline and totally believable acting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Loved This Movie

    i've seen this movie and can honestly say this is the best movie i've seen. the acting is good, the story, everything!!! Michelle Rodriguez is great in this movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews