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Cast: Thomas Haden Church, Terrence Howard, Boyd Holbrook, David Henrie, Macy Gray
Willie, homeless and on Skid Row, is coerced by two teens to fight other men for cash. Now involved in a violent world he canít understand and with few human connections beyond a girl's diary he found, Willie struggles to find a way out.
Willie is a homeless man living on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles' Skid Row. He finds some comfort after he finds a little girl's diary. As he begins reading it his life begins to change as he feels a connection to the little girl and begins writing letters to her as well. But his life goes from bad to worse after two rich kids talk him into fighting other homeless people for money. Willie is fine with it at first but when things get out of hand he begins to wonder where he fits into the world around him.
"Cardboard Boxer" is a drama about a man who lost his way many years ago. Willie is easy to like even with all his faults because deep now you know he is a good guy who just had a bad streak of luck that got him to where he is today. One scene that really got to me was after he won his first fight and was given his money. He goes to a local hotel and gets a room for the night. It had to be many years since he had a shower and slept in a bed but in the end he ended up sleeping on the floor anyway. That scene really punched me in the gut because we all have been guilty of walking right past a homeless person never even making eye contact. This is what's so good about Writer/Director, Knate Gwaltney's script, it puts a face to homelessness and reminds us all that they are as human as we are.
I am not going to go into major plot details here so I not to ruin the film for those who are wanting to see it but I will say that it is a touching film about guilt, redemption and survival on the streets.
The terrific script is made even better by Knate Gwaltney's amazing cast. Terrence Howard is excellent as a local cab driver who looks out for the homeless people by giving them food and blankets when they need it. Rhys Wakefield is also very good as one of the young punks looking to take advantage of Willie for his own amusement. Another stand out performance came from Boyd Holbrook who is stellar as a veteran of lost his legs serving his country and ended up on the streets and had to sell his Purple Heart just to eat another day. His character really hits home because of all the veterans we have today in this country who have not been taken care of as promised. And last but not least we have Thomas Haden Church who gives a subtle but award worthy performance as Willie. Even with the amazing supporting cast Church still stands out.
"Cardboard Boxer" isn't an easy film to watch because a lot of it deals with several subject matters we would like to continue to ignore but the fact is the problems exist today and they need to be addressed immediately. The film will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on November 15th. You can order the DVD HERE and the Blu-ray HERE.
"Cardboard Boxer" is a heartfelt and thought-provoking film that will leave you affected by it long after it is over
Released by Well Go USA
**** 1/2 Out Of *****