This film review will discuss Clint Eastwood’s 2004 movie Million Dollar Baby. Like a deluxe restaurant meal, veteran movie director and lead actor Eastwood carefully selected unique, high-quality ingredients for the script and co-actors, and skilled chefs – i.e. film artisans - to plan and create something exceptional. The final result leaves a subtle, distinct and memorable flavor. A Million Dollar Baby (MDB) film reviewer suggests that Eastwood’s “touch only gets lighter with time”. (Grey, 2005) MDB won the Academy Award for 2004’s Film of the Year as well as Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Supporting Male Actor - this reflects the calibre of the chosen contributors, and clearly exemplifies it as a film masterpiece. Bittersweet and controversial, the film delivers an unforgettable impact.
My Darling, My Blood
An aspiring boxer, Maggie (portrayed by Hilary Swank), convinces a gruff trainer, Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), to prepare her for competition. Frankie, his hard outer shell eventually revealing affection and generosity, reluctantly takes her on and they develop an intimate relationship, shored up by his friend, former competitive boxer and employee, Scrap (played by Morgan Freeman). Scrap admires and quietly supports Maggie’s dedication to her dream. Maggie works with fierce determination and eventually fights for a championship when ill fate deals a cruel blow: she falls awkwardly, breaking her neck and becoming a quadriplegic. Frankie, who has become her closest friend and a father figure, at her fervent request, takes her life.
Clint Eastwood is a thinking moviegoer’s actor and director, his career evolution is satisfying to follow. Since the mid 1950’s, he has been nominated for eight directing Academy Awards, and two for acting, two films (including MDB) saw him nominated for both Best Director and Best Actor. (“Eastwood - Wiki“, 2002) He is also an accomplished jazz composer and pianist, and sometime politician: a useful skill when wearing the hats of director, producer, and star. In 1971, Eastwood starred in Dirty Harry, the first of a "loose-cannon cop genre" (“Eastwood - Wiki“, 2002) series of movies in which he would portray Harry Callahan, the character for which he will best be remembered.
Much controversy swirled about the movie, generated by advocates for the Disabled. Many stated that the film’s message that Disableds’ lives are over once they’re quadriplegic/vent-dependent: actually, MDB is about the love that the two main characters unexpectedly discover and nurture, and Frankie ultimately protecting Maggie - at any cost. The film’s plot spawned a second debate as it hit theatres: the right- or wrong-ness of discussing the ending (in association with the euthanasia debate or on stand-alone principle). One film reviewer described “Naming this misfortune and its consequences […] would be an unforgivable spoiler." (Grey, 2005)
Million Dollar Baby is a modern-day Greek...