Watching The Fighter I was really touched by the scene where Melissa Leo, mother of Mickey and Dickie, goes in search of the errant elder son, played brilliantly by Christian Bale, at a local crack house. When she finally rounds him up and puts him in her car, he breaks into the Bee Gees I Started A Joke. His attempt to sweet-talk her by crooning (I’m guessing) her favourite song is really moving, especially as Bale sings it so well. Inspired by Gavin Bryers’ beautiful Jesus’ Blood Never Saved Me Yet and by Robbie Robertson’s layering of Dinah Washington’s This Bitter Earth with On the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter on the soundtrack to Shutter Island*, I worked with the two verses that Bale sings before Melissa Leo joins in, slightly off key. Oh, and I’ve made a fairly lame video for it from stills, and it’ll be on YouTube soon. Of course, a cease-and-desist order may be in the wings—there’s no clearance to do this! I remember Richie Havens’ version from his rather lovely Stonehenge album, with some stirring vibraphone playing… and for another stunning piece of acting, and a great, great film, see Melissa Leo in Frozen River. *Not forgetting Moby’s stirling work in this area, nor Black Box’s seminal Ride On Time. Really. Who can forget that?
Watch it here