Monday, January 10, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

I'm a Clint Eastwood fan, I admit it. Sure, he's made his pieces of crap. But then he turns around and hits you with an Unforgiven. I didn't know much about it going in other than it was about boxing, a father-daughter type relationship, and that it was getting nothing but praise from critics en masse. Eastwood plays a boxing gym owner who's a little too tentative in most aspects of his life and it's costing him. Hillary Swank is a white-trash waitress who wants him to teach her to box. He resists at first, but comes around when she just won't stay away. Then comes the teaching, the rise to the top, the bonding. Everything is done in a very understated manner. It's never about the film with Eastwood, it's about the people in the film and their story. There's nothing overly stylish that says, "Look at me! I'm a Clint Eastwood movie!" like you might find in say, a Quentin Tarantino movie. You're just watching these events happen, these two people who find in each other the familial bond they're missing with their own flesh and blood. And that's what this film is ultimately about, finding that person who understands you and by sharing your life, completes you. It's a love story, just not your typical one. What would you do for the person you love? How much do you let them live and how much do you protect them?

I wasn't blown away by this movie. Oh, I liked it a lot and yeah, it deserves the accolades it's getting. But there's nothing in it that grabbed me or stood out. It just...was. Does that make sense? It's like I said, it's just there to tell the story of these people. And when it's over, the story is finished but there's neither joy nor sadness. Because the story--your story, my story, our story--it never really stops does it? No, we go on.

3 Comments:

At 1/11/2005 12:04:00 PM, Blogger zenbetty said...

okay, i'm not gonna read your post yet (because i haven't seen the movie yet) but Ebert ranked Million Dollar Baby as his #1 movie of 2004, and i do usually trust Ebert's reviews. so i'm looking forward to watching it. (and something about hilary swank looking butchy is hot.) but another Eastwood flick that i didn't like was Mystic River...am i alone on that opinion?

 
At 1/11/2005 03:11:00 PM, Blogger slight said...

haven't seen mystic river yet, but it's at the top of my netflix queue. sean penn is, imho, probably one of the top 5 actors around.

 
At 1/26/2005 02:21:00 PM, Blogger zenbetty said...

yes, sean penn. just watched the assassination of richard nixon last week. we'll talk about it after you see it...

 

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