If, like me, your knowledge of wrestling begins and ends with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and jokes about it all being fake, then the trailer for Fighting With My Family may seem a bit novel to you. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to appreciate in the preview for this British comedy, based on a true story. Originally a TV documentary for Channel 4, Fighting With My Family follows the Bevis family (headed by Nick Frost and Lena Headey), all local wrestlers, as their two children Saraya and Zak are invited to audition for the WWE. One gets through, the other doesn’t. If you know your wrestling then you know who wins. Saraya Bevis is better known to the world as Paige.
The film is the passion project of Stephen Merchant, and is a co-production with Film4 and WWE Studios, so don’t expect a hard-hitting expose of that organization’s business practices or ways it deals with stuff like concussions. But hey, The Rock is here, playing himself and acting as a producer. Wouldn’t you too love to have The Rock as your motivational guide?
For anyone who’s followed Florence Pugh for the past couple of years with as much interest as I have, any project with her name attached becomes a must-watch. She’s only 22 but already she’s carved a path for herself as a stellar actress with skills beyond her years. In Lady Macbeth, she created the perfect portrait of an oppressed woman who finds her liberation through the exploitation of others. She gave the kind of performance as Cordelia in BBC 2’s recent adaptation of King Lear that some actresses twice her age couldn’t manage. Alas, the most recent cut of Outlaw King greatly chops down her part, which is a shame because she more than holds her own against Chris Pine and proves formidable as Elizabeth de Burgh. Currently, she is starring in the BBC’s adaptation of John le Carre’s The Little Drummer Girl, directed by Park Chan-wook, and her next big-screen role after playing Paige will be in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women (she’s Amy). If you’ve never seen Florence Pugh act, do yourself a favour and seek out something from her short but hugely impressive filmography.