Monday, February 07, 2005

$1,000,000 Newborn

On Super Bowl Sunday (of all days), Auntee and I went to see Clint Eastwood's critically-acclaimed Million Dollar Baby. I wasn't exactly a fan of Eastwood's last film, Mystic River. I felt it was overrated. However, Million Dollar Baby is actually as good as everyone says it is.

This is a movie that doesn't seem like it should be as good as it is. It revolves around Hilary Swank as a female boxer who wants Clint Eastwood's character to train her. Morgan Freeman has a supporting role as Eastwood's friend, a former boxer who helps him run his gym. Freeman narrates the movie. The movie has a lot of the typical sports movie cliches. However, what makes it stand out is the way its treats the characters. Each of the three main characters has depth and they are the focus...not the sport of boxing. The boxing scenes are well-done, but the characters are most important parts of those scenes. The movie is not fast-paced, but not slow moving either. It moves at a comfortable pace that compels you to watch the screen.

It seems like as of late, however, that one cannot talk about this movie without talking about the ending. Some critics have revealed it in their reviews, drawing the ire of people like Roger Ebert. I really want to talk about the ending and my take on it, but since I am kind of lazy at the moment, I will save that for another post.

Plain and simple, Million Dollar Baby is an amazing movie. It's not a sports movie, but a real human drama. It will make you smile, it will excite you, it will shock you, and it will unsettle you. The characters (and their actions) stay with you long after you have left the theater. I wouldn't be surprised if, just like the main character, this movie comes from out of nowhere and takes home Best Picture Oscar gold.


  1. I have to admit, to me the moast fascinating thing about this and Mystic River is that Eastwood did the music.

    I mean, Clint Eastood composing movie scores? How weird is that?