Saturday, February 05, 2005

"Million Dollar secret"

In today's LA Times (article requires paid membership) Tim Rutten asks why no reviewer of Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby discussed what Rutten thinks is the heart of the film: the moral question of assisted suicide. He notes that most reviewers said that they did not discuss this question (or even mention that it played a central role in the film) because they didn't want to give away the plot. He writes
Imagine the Getty [art museum] had acquired an important new painting and your newspaper's art critic … [wrote] "this is a masterpiece that has as its theme a vital moral issue, which is depicted in a shocking image. However, I'm not going to tell about either the issue or the image, because I don't want to spoil your experience of the painting."
Rutten says that such an attitude would be appropriate for the plot of thriller but that "a serious film with genuinely important themes occupy an entirely different aesthetic space." He then puts his finger on exactly why the film was treated as it has been. "[To treat the film] otherwise is to relegate [it] to a lesser art."

In my opinion, "Million Dollar Baby" was a B movie that has been seriously overpraised. Those who attempt to elevate it to something more are the ones who are wrong. See my comments from December, when I saw the film.

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