Sunday 10 April 2011

Million Dollar Baby (2004) - Clint Eastwood

Do yourself a favour and watch this film before you read any further.

Done? Good.

You'll know then that Million Dollar Baby isn't the film you thought it was going to be.  It begins with a fairly hackneyed story - boxing trainer (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes on female boxer (Hilary Swank) in search of redemption for his past mistakes; female boxer makes it big against all the odds; trainer becomes substitute father-figure.  All is relayed through voiceover by Morgan Freeman, ripped straight from The Shawshank Redemption

The simplicity of the narrative reveals Eastwood’s confidence in his directing ability, astute script and the exceptional performances.  It starts off slow but lures you in through the strength of the characters – endearing, believable and human.  

But in the final round, the film shifts towards a chilling, heart-rending denouement.  It’s an incredibly powerful film that will stay with you long after the final bell. 


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