Interdisciplinary Research Paper - Cinderella Man

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The Nuclear Family as portrayed in Cinderella Man

“I have to believe that when things are bad I can change them.” James J. Braddock did exactly that. Cinderella Man was filmed in 2005. It was directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer, with screenplay credits to Cliff Hollingsworth and Akiva Goldsman; Cliff Hollingsworth wrote the story as well. This film was released and aired in over 30 countries through out the world. On its opening weekend in the USA, Cinderella Man brought in well over 18 million dollars and over 60 million dollars in its total lifetime; worldwide, it’s brought in over 100 million dollars since its release. In its first year, Cinderella Man was nominated for 3 Oscars (Box Office Mojo). Russell Crowe plays main character, James J. Braddock; Renee Zellweger plays his wife Mae Braddock. Paul Giamatti plays Braddock’s dedicated coach Joe Gould; his final contender, Mike Baer is played by Craig Bierko (IMBd). During the Great Depression, an ever day-man hero, James J. Braddock, was to become one of the most surprising, notable, and inspiring sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom due to the fall of the stock market and other economic issues. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief and ask old friends for money. But deep inside, Braddock never gave up and his drive and determination helped him along the way (IMBd). Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In the last possible chance to help his family, Braddock turned back to fighting. No one thought he would make it. However Braddock, filled with the thoughts and images of his family suffering, kept winning. He was the hope of his entire community and when Braddock made it back up to the top, being the underdog all the way up, he went where no other man during this time would dare go. With the thoughts of the possibilities and what-ifs, Braddock, decided to fight the heavy weight champion of the world: a man so much stronger than him, more skilled, and better trained. Known to having killed two men in the ring, Max Baer was the only man standing between Braddock and his dream. Shocking everyone Braddock came out on top with the title (IMBd). After watching, re-watching, and analyzing the film, Cinderella Man, the nuclear family seemed to be a suiting lens to research. The nuclear family refers to the mother, father, and their children. Unlike the extended the family, the nuclear family is more personal and direct. The nuclear family has many benefits than families with a single parent or parents that are not married or together. In a two parent home, there is not one parent in which the children on dependent on for everything (Hasen 1). Looking at the nuclear family in a not so literal way gives leeway to research material in the categories of social science, science, and humanities, paying particular attention to: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Biological Classification – more or less plant families, and Families during the Great Depression – with the main focus on parenting during that time. Thus, analyzing the film, Cinderella Man, through the lens of the nuclear family reveals that a solid backbone is needed for existence and survival. The nuclear family has two dependent parents who both, and together, strive for what is best for themselves and their family’s needs. “Dr. Maslow hypothesized that people are motivated by a hierarchy of needs.” Starting from the bottom of his pyramid the lists of needs are as followed: physical survival, safety and security, social belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization (Huitt). The parents in any given family strive for these needs so that they can...
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