June 21, 2024 | Rome, Italy

Million Dollar Baby

By |2018-03-21T18:31:00+01:00September 1st, 2005|Reviews|


Date: 2005

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman

Not the classic its admirers pretend it to be, this gender-bending boxing story starts promisingly only to collapse under the weight of saccharine morality. Hilary Swank is Maggie Fitzgerald, a trailer-park-trash boxer who begs testosterone-laden trainer Frankie Dunn (director Clint Eastwood) to take her under his wing and make her a contender. She enlists the support of his hack gym manager, Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman), who mumbles laconic encouragement.

Maggie ascends in Rocky-like style, bashing her stunned opponents while demonstrating that the female work ethic is every bit as heartfelt as the male and winning over the crusty Dunn in the process. Cometh the title fight, which unravels into a visual hate crime. Suddenly, Maggie is on a respirator and Frankie, a laconic coward, is faced with life-and-death questions. The film then veers into a maudlin take on do-the-right-thing and euthanasia. By the weepy end, Eastwood has altogether dispensed with character in favor of preaching. It’s too bad because Maggie’s an interesting if improbable creation.

About the Author:

A military brat, Marcia Yarrow was born in Hamburg, Germany but grew up in Germany, Spain, and Provo, Utah. She's been writing for the magazine since its creation in 2004.