Winner and New Champ: Ron Howard’s “Cinderella Man”

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Director of Photography Salvatore Totino uses Cooke S4 Prime lenses to capture the life of legendary boxer Jim Braddock in a rousing, thrilling and inspirational film.

Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) June 16, 2005 — Describing Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man, Gene Shalit of The Today Show said it plainly: “Absolutely the best movie of the year so far. By far.”

Academy Award Winner Russell Crowe is reunited with “A Beautiful Mind” Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman in this story inspired by the life of legendary athlete Jim Braddock, a once-promising light heavyweight boxer forced into retirement after a series of losses in the ring. As the nation enters the darkest years of the Great Depression, Braddock accepts a string of dead-end jobs to support his wife, Mae – played with stunning realism and heart by Renee Zellweger – and their children, while never totally abandoning his dream of boxing again.

Director of Photography Salvatore Totino (The Missing 2003, Changing Lanes 2002 and Any Given Sunday 1999) uses Cooke S4 Prime lenses to capture Braddock’s life in a rousing, thrilling and inspirational film that Peter Travers in Rolling Stone says is “lit with a poet's eye by camera whiz Salvatore Totino.”

Braddock soon finds himself unable to support his family, drowning in debt and facing the prospect of a winter without heat in their drab basement apartment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “when the power is cut off in Jim and Mae’s apartment, Salvatore Totino’s ever-probing camera captures each stifled breath, and thanks to the meticulously re-created surroundings of the old Madison Square Garden Bowl, you almost can catch a whiff of the smoke and sweat and desperation.”

Braddock surprises the skeptics by knocking out his rising-star opponent and finds himself back on track and carrying the hopes and dreams of millions of struggling average Joes on his shoulders as he faces off against the world heavyweight champ Max Baer (Craig Bierko), who already has killed two men in the ring.

Howard elicits wonderful performances from Crowe, Zellweger and Paul Giamatti (who plays the role of Braddock’s old, indefatigable manager, Joe Gould, and is an early favorite for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination), and those performances are gracefully captured by the artistry of Salvtore Totino and Cooke S4 Prime lenses. In fact, Travers in Rolling Stone called Cinderella Man “Howard’s best movie.”

Howard and Totino are currently teaming again in the much-awaited film version of Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code, which has just begun production with an all-star cast that includes Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina and the Charming French actress Audrey Tautou. Filming of this motion picture will be particularly challenging, in that the very essence of French Catholicism, with its cathedrals and shrines, not to mention the opening and closing scenes in The Louvre, will need to be accurately and sensitively portrayed. It’s no surprise that Totino has once again selected Cooke S4 Prime lenses to make Howard’s vision a reality.

Cooke is a storied name in both cinemagraphic and the ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the most renowned directors of photography and cinematographers in Hollywood. Cooke S4 Prime lenses, acclaimed for their unique mechanical design and extraordinary photographic qualities, have been used to shoot several of the most renowned and visually beautiful motion pictures of all time, both in Hollywood and internationally. Other recent box office releases shot with Cooke lenses include Ray, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Chicago, Under the Tuscan Sun, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the extraordinarily beautiful Girl With a Pearl Earring.

For more information about Cooke lenses, visit their website at


Kyle Kappmeier


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