Friday, January 21, 2005

Million Dollar Baby 

We finally got to see this much praised film this past weekend, at its early release at the Lowes Boston Common (the most comfy and well-appointed theater in Boston). I haven't gotten around to writing about it until now, mostly because I couldn't come up with words that would appropriately convey the utter fabulosity of Million Dollar Baby and all those involved in the project.

Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood star in this story of a woman (Maggie) seeking to become a champion professional boxer, and the trainer (Frankie) she is trying to persuade to help her get there. Morgan Freeman plays a retired boxer (Eddie) who now works in Frankie's gym. Eddie also provides the narration that is the glue and universal translator of the story.

You may be thinking, "Why do we need yet another boxing movie? Haven't there been enough? Rags to riches, underdog fighting to the top, life lessons through physical brutality." To this I answer: You really need to see this movie, and see it at the theater. Don't wait for DVD release. Go to a big theater with a big screen and a good sound system, and pick a time when there will be a good sized crowd. This is one of those shows where everyone laughs, cries, sniffs, groans and winces as one, and where applause is apt to burst forth spontaneously.

The characters and the portrayals of them are complex and rich, with more layers than are worked through over the course of the 137 minutes. The story is nuanced and well-paced, and never lets you go.

Million Dollar Baby is raking in the awards and nominations, and I have no doubt that there will several more nominations come Tuesday morning when the Academy Award nominations are announced. I'm putting my money firmly on Hilary Swank to take home her second Best Actress Oscar.

Just spectacular. Go see it. Now.

Reality Check: The Girl absolutely loved it.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:29 AM