Friday, December 31, 2004

Million Dollar Baby

I was very disappointed by this movie. The only reason to bother writing about it is that it keeps getting good notices. I heard Kevin Turan on the radio this morning praise it as the kind of movie grown-ups want Hollywood to make.

Based on a series of short stories about boxing by F. X. Tool, the movie features one-dimensional cartoon-like characters, melodramatic emotions (not even done well enough to engage me seriously), and a plot with choices that were both so formulaic and so arbitrary that it could have been written by tossing dice and stitching together old B-movie plots.

But some people really like it. This (unbelievably) is what Roger Ebert says.
Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby' is a masterpiece, pure and simple, deep and true. It tells the story of an aging fight trainer and a hillbilly girl who thinks she can be a boxer. It is narrated by a former boxer who is the trainer's best friend. But it's not a boxing movie. It is a movie about a boxer. What else it is, all it is, how deep it goes, what emotional power it contains, I cannot suggest in this review, because I will not spoil the experience of following this story into the deepest secrets of life and death. This is the best film of the year.

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