As cinema catches up with the Great Recession and serious filmmakers want to tell the stories of Americans who have long-suffered under crony capitalism, I'm curious to know what you all think are really good movies about the working class, that don't pander or engage in misery porn (Edit: that have been made in the last decade or so)?
Did anyone see Out of the Furnace this weekend? It's a film starring Christian Bale as a steelworker in Braddock, PA, whose brother (Casey Affleck) is a PTSD-wrecked Iraq vet. Woody Harrelson plays a backwoods, bare-knuckle brawl fight fixer. I won't give away much of the plot, except to say that nothing gets better for these people.
I wrote a story about it, interviewing the director Scott Cooper (he previously directed Crazy Heart), co-star Willem Dafoe, and the mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, because they shot in that town.
Here's what Fetterman had to say (among other things):
"If someone’s coming to shoot a movie in Braddock, they’re not using it as a backdrop for Aspen, Colo. or the French Riviera. So [what’s seen on screen] is not a surprise, and the portrayal isn’t meant to be negative,” Fetterman said of his town’s participation. “I saw one review where they called it ‘misery porn’ or something like that, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are places like this that exist in this country. There are men that worked in the mills their whole lives, generations caring for sick fathers. All that’s part of the fabric out here, so it’s not coming from a place of voyeurism or reveling in it; it’s just, like, This is a story that needs to be told."
Anyway, would love feedback on the story, and to know what other movies you think honestly tell the story of the working class (or at least exist in that world).
Here's the trailer for that movie, in case you're interested: