Monday, June 18, 2012

39/50x2: Million Dollar Baby

I am beginning to get the Clint Eastwood treatment. There weren't many films of his I have seen, whether it be acting or directing. And, as I said before, despite my lack of love for the sport of boxing, films about them are always pretty darn interesting.

So, here we have a mixture of both. Eastwood both directed and starred in Million Dollar Baby. He takes on the role of Frankie Dunn, a boxing trainer who is very talented at what he does, but lacks the champions that a successful trainer should have.

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a waitress who has aspirations of making it as a boxer. But, Dunn tosses her aside because he doesn't train girls. She is persistent, though, and Dunn's co-trainer Eddie Dupris (Morgan Freeman) allows her to train in the gym and gives her an old speed bag to work with until she can afford her own.

Eventually, she begins to show some promise and, despite her age, Dunn finally agrees to take her on and train her. As things progress, she is actually a very talented boxer - or just really good at the initial charge and is able to knock out her opponent rather quickly.

There is also the fact that Maggie's family is a bunch of hillbilly freeloaders. As Maggie gets better she begins to make more money and buys a house for her mother - but instead of being thankful, she complains that now she won't get enough welfare.

I can't really talk about the film much more because it would spoil a rather large plot point, but that was also one of the least convincing things I have seen in film.

Despite that, the film was still pretty entertaining. I still don't really enjoy Eastwood as an actor, I think it's mostly his voice and delivery. And despite how annoying I usually find her, I enjoyed Swank here. And of course, Freeman was excellent as always.


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