Million Dollar Baby (2004) Director: Clint Eastwood
I enjoy watching a good Clint Eastwood film, but Million Dollar Baby is merely a decent movie, despite winning Best Picture from the Academy that year. Hillary Swank delivers a terrific performance, but otherwise I tend to believe the struggling boxer theme is tired and overdone in cinema. Million Dollar Baby is not a film I would soon watch again, nor one I would recommend.
The story is somewhat predictable (with a tragic twist at the end) about a rising female boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald (played by Hillary Swank) as she secures an aging coach (played by Clint Eastwood). They win a surprising string of fights together, while handling Fitzgerald’s trashy family, until Fitzgerald takes a cheap shot that snaps her neck, leaving her paralyzed. In the end, her manager allows her to die. The film is narrated by Morgan Freeman.
The title for the film was taken from a World War II bomber, and the story, itself, is derived from the short stories of F.X. Toole (the nom de plume of boxing manager, Jerry Boyd).