IMDB 250 Challenge: #146: Million Dollar Baby

Made: (2004)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank, Morgan Freeman

Director: Clint Eastwood

My Thoughts

  • Wow. Present day Clint Eastwood is growing on me like a husky, contemplative cyst. I wrote previously how shocking I thought Gran Torino was. This is in a different league. I love the fragmented storylines… there are three I picked up here: the battle of a redneck woman to make it in the boxing world, an old man still struggling to come to terms with the past and finally (the most potent, powerful and unpredicted) euthanasia. Whilst many movies struggle to establish one clear theme or issue, this one successfully juggled three.
  • I can’t remember ever watching a bad boxing movie (yes, I am including the Rocky series in that). Even in one that tackles such hard-hitting issues as this, the fighting scenes are inspiring. There is very little that can get the blood flowing like it. I really find a schism between reality and fiction on that front. Rarely do I watch a boxing match that excites me. Most of the time, the build-up is more intriguing than the bout itself. Perfect example: Audley Harrison’s laughable display against David Haye this month.
  • As much as I loved this film, I found the scenes in which they featured Irish people embarrassing. In fact, the crowd scenes in general were very poor and clichéd. An awful lot of Irish people can’t speak or read Gaeilge. That huge crowds of them would notice Mo Chuisle (‘my pulse’ is the literal translation, mostly used to equate to ‘my darling’) on Maggie Fitzgerald’s shorts and immediately start chanting it is completely unrealistic. But then, if the entire movie played out like real life, the fights wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable.
  • The depiction of the Irish in Hollywood has been a mixed bag. I loved Brad Pitt in Snatch. His accent was perfect and he had the mannerisms and wit of a few shady characters I’ve encountered. The worst I can recall seeing (including Leprechaun) is probably Sean Bean in Patriot Games. Absolutely horrible stuff. The clip below is an old favourite: classic portrayal of the Troubles for American kids
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