The first reviews of “Southpaw” are getting released. The movie is selected for 18th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival, as we previously reported, and is part of the official competition. The official screening and press conference are scheduled for June 21st. No word yet if any of the cast of crew will attend. We will make a round-up of the first reviews in this post, and as always we will try to focus on excerpts on Rachel’s performance. Given that Rachel only has a supporting role in this movie, the reviews are mainly focussed on her co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, but so far the critics seem to praise her performance and the performance of the cast in general.
“Back in the locker room, his sexy wife Maureen (a well-cast Rachel McAdams) looks on in pride and trepidation as the doctors sew his face back on and save his left eye. Still, her concern for him seems genuine and their public affection signals how much in love they are. McAdams leaves behind the memory of a strong woman who has climbed up from the projects at her man’s side, a savvy manager and a loving wife and mother caught up in the contradictions of being married to a violent prize-fighter.”
–Deborah Young, THR
The reviews also reveal a running time of 123 minutes. The movie will be released on July 24, 2015 in the U.S. and U.K.
“Jake Gyllenhaal undergoes a solid if strenuous transformation as a boxer reeling from tragedy in Antoine Fuqua’s heavy-handed melodrama […] The light heavyweight boxing champ Billy “the Great” Hope (Gyllenhaal) seems to have everything, living a life of luxury with a wife he adores, Maureen (a strong Rachel McAdams), and their precocious young daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence).”
–Justin Chang, Variety
“Jake Gyllenhaal brings likeability and commitment to a raw role, but despite a strong supporting cast director Antoine Fuqua never quite transcends the proceedings’ gritty, melodramatic blandness. A lot of care, heart and craft have been thrown at awfully familiar material […] Gyllenhaal’s all-in sincerity is matched by his costars’, although they also bob and weave around cliché. McAdams is just right as the straight-shooting wife. Her role may be small, but it’s crucial”
–Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
“Gyllenhaal, McAdams and Laurence create a believable family dynamic, and Whitaker can’t help but be powerful in a role that has to be as automatic as shoelace-tying for the veteran actor by this point. Southpaw is so simultaneously entertaining and unsurprising that it could go straight to ESPN Classic, but if these are the extremes it takes for certain people to notice that, hey, that guy from Bubble Boy has turned into a heck of an actor, then so be it.”
–Steve Pond, The Wrap