If you're planning to see:
The Fighter (2010)
Mark Wahlberg has struggled for years to tell the true story of Lowell, MA, welterweight boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and how he rose from humiliating defeat to the championship despite a profoundly dysfunctional family that included his drug-addicted half-brother and sometime trainer, Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale), and his nightmarish mother-manager, Alice (Melissa Leo). Lately, there's been something especially compelling about tales from Massachusetts' lower class neighborhoods — Ben Affleck has pretty much made a growth industry out of it — and with Bale morphing into the role of the drug-ravaged Eklund, plus Amy Adams as Ward's strong-willed fiancée, all under the direction of David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees), The Fighter looks not only to be in good company, but to possibly fulfill its potential as an Oscar contender.
Follow it up with:
Raging Bull (1980)
But you want to talk family clash, here's the real deal. Robert De Niro plays the feral Jake "The Bull" LaMotta; Joe Pesci is his brother, manager, and occasional punching-bag, Joey; and Cathy Moriarty is Jake's loose-cannon wife, Vickie. Under the stark direction of Martin Scorsese and via an amazing mix of innovative editing, surreal sound design, and black-and-white cinematography, the violence on the domestic front becomes only slightly less punishing than that meted out within the ring. Audiences swooned, and a fair portion of the artists involved deservedly copped Oscar noms, although only De Niro and editor Thelma Schoonmaker took home gold. (In many cases, the other categories were claimed by Ordinary People, another tale of familial friction, but of a more-refined nature. There shoulda been a rematch!)