The 2004 boxing movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Paul Haggis. It’s the story of Maggie Fitzgerald ( Hilary Swank ) a young Southern boxer seeking training from veteran trainer Frank ( Clint Eastwood ).
Aspiring boxer and waitress Maggie doesn’t have much experience, but she has the heart and the will of thousand dreamers. She decides to visit the gym of boxing-manager Frank. Only problem; he doesn’t train women, plus she’s already 31 ( which is older than most trainees ). In the meantime, she decides to schmuck up to his decades long friend, Scrap-Iron ( Morgan Freeman ). He teachers her a thing or two, then politely stops training her. All until Frank loses his star-boxer Big Willie ( Mike Colter, not Will Smith ). After a long consideration he decides he’ll give her a shot.
Frank’s veteran-like past really bleeds through him. He’s done some things in the past he isn’t proud of, and he doesn’t know if he’ll make things right. We don’t know the details, but he does have an estranged daughter. Later in the movie Frank does become a fatherfigure to the fatherless Maggie. Despite the hardships, Maggie never gets hir spirits down.
Eventually, things start going well for Maggie. She’s got money to spare, she’s winning matches and travelling across Europe to fight. It looks like she might even be reaching for World Champ. Like in all boxing though, she does fall. But how she falls, and how hard, I’m not gonna spoil.
Overall Million Dollar Baby was a heartwarming and a heartbreaking boxer film. It inspired me, entertained me and hit me right in the gutter. Hilary Swank proved herself in her well deserved Oscar performance. An actress I now wish to see more of and would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with in some way.
As usual, there were also great performances by Freeman and Eastwood, the latter of which I’ve grown a strong appreciation for this year. The Father-daughter like chemistry he had with Swank felt more then genuine. Another performance worth mentioning, as inconsequential to the overall story as it might have been – Jay Baruchel. Mostly knowing him from my childhood as the voice of Hiccup, and his character from This Is The End, I was surprised to see him as the go lucky Southern boxer wannabe. Overall, the film was tremendously acted, paced and executed. 8.7/10.
All photos follow this license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en