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Million Dollar Baby
14 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Clint Eastwood

Written By:
Paul Haggis, F.X. Toole

Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Christina Cox

Buy on DVD
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
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Movie Review by Zara
September 8th, 2009

I'm always surprised at people when they complain about this movie not being worthy of winning its Oscars. I guess it's a question of whether you prefer a story driven movie or a character driven movie. To me, I see both, with more of Eastwood's lean on wanting to understand the characters and in turn get the audience to understand the characters. This movie wasn't so much about laying everything out on the table to explain it to you as it was like laying out three different weapons and then asking you which one would be the perfect murder weapon. It's all a matter of opinion.

I like Swank's dedication to her roles and that as time has progressed, she's taken on only what she likes to do and not just something for the paycheck. There were people who bashed her in this as well as THE BLACK DAHLIA but I liked her immensely in both. It took the power of her previous performance in BOYS DON'T CRY in order to get her to a place where an unconventionally good looking woman (I hate people who refer to her as ugly, because she's not) to allow her the freedom to continue to have strong performances no matter the material. The fact that she went through such a strenuous training regimen for this movie during the time that her personal life was starting to fall apart is also a testament to how trained and focused she is as an actress. Sure, there could have been more subtle performances that would have won an Oscar, but if it had to be someone that the Academy awarded for the namesake, you really can't go wrong with Swank in anything she does.

Ultimately, without spoiling the movie, this is a character film where you get a chance to meet a set of people and try to understand where each of them came from, how they got to where they were in life when you meet them in the movie and even what your feelings would be if you were put in their shoes. I like that Eastwood works on getting people to be uncomfortable and put on those shoes. Thinking outside of one's personal bubble can be enlightening. So far, as a mature director, he is the most accomplished in this regard that I've seen of all the other mature directors with a lengthy history in Hollywood.

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