As a boxing movie, this is every bit as grim as The Set-Up (1949) and Fat City(1972), and as an underlit look at a seedy American subculture, set mainly in a few lairlike locations, it’s as dark and doom ridden as the 1961 The Hustler (with which it paradoxically shares a ‘Scope format) and Eastwood’s own 1988 Bird.
US mythology recipe here with Eastwood as its foremost spokesperson. Now, it is women's entry into a male-dominated sport coupled to the hard-won path of upward mobility and fame. Relying also on the standard odd couple motif, Eastwood offers another epic on US society's contradictions, rescued though by character integrity. Nicely shot, yet it does not avoid easy recourse to rituals or cruel KOs. Merely watchable.
I've never really forgiven Paul Haggis for "Crash," but without reservation I call his screenplay here beautiful and elegiac. It's aided by some of Eastwood's most formal and meticulous visuals (never thought I'd see Clint use a split diopter shot!). I'll be honest: as a longtime fan of Eastwood as a masculine avatar and silver screen icon, the sight of him broken down and crying in church absolutely wrecked me.
Lovely, poetic, sweet, simple and true. Hillary Swank gives a physically and emotionally committed performance imbuing the film with an agile, grounded gut punch. Eastwood's measured yet jazzy rhythms lend the piece a solid, quiet dramatic weight. This is a film about life, the many blows we all weather to get through it, find inner strength and define it's meaning on our own terms. A scrappy, sad, powerful lament.
Seen again last night. Seems to me that the last part after the accident is a little bit too long, too formatted for the Oscars. But, all in all, Million Dollar Baby passes the test of time. Highly recommended.
Unnecessary voiceover, generic archetypes, and the story is something out of screenwriting 101 (though the ending did feel somewhat fresh). Clint plays a boring, grizzled bastard that has played for the past 80 years (real life and in films). This nero actually talks to a fucking bed in this movie! The church scenes are absolutely fucking pointless. Freeman is utterly wasted and Swank is pleasant.
The man needed a daughter, the girl needed a father and so a beautiful friendship was born. Freeman, Eastwood and Swank deliver good performances, and the second half of the film is heartbreaking. I can't, however, say that there's something fascinating or very memorable about this, personally speaking. Nice watch, but that's it.
For all its emotional gestures, I felt nothing while watching this. Through its contrived plot, poor rhythm, and false sentiments, Million Dollar Baby (2004) tries to hit all of the right notes, following some kind of feel-good-yet-still-sappy Hollywood formula. As a result, it shares the same tone as taudry elevator music: seemingly complex but actually uninteresting.
Entirely adequate in every way. Wildly surrealistically just plain BIZARRELY over-rated. There is nothing special about this film, except the manner in which it has managed to con the entire cinema world into acclaiming it a masterpiece.
CITIZEN KANE, THE GODFATHER, RULES OF THE GAME = masterpieces.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY = TV movie of the week.