A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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MILLION DOLLAR BABY
2004 - Clint Eastwood - United States
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The strength of Million Dollar Baby lies within it's characters and its noirish atmosphere. The film opens to the sounds of Clint Eastwood's tender musical score, the Warner Brothers and Lakeshore logos are shown in black and white, further expressing the noirish atmosphere and tone of the film. Even though the film is simply (and even begins commonly) told, and the depth or knowledge of their past are limited within the narrative, you will deeply sympathize and truly care for these characters. They are human in every way, but Eastwood is not presenting his film as real life, yet rather through a cinematic world of dark doomed fate. There are also moments of humor and touching beauty, as Million Dollar Baby is a love story of two souls, that have been abandoned by both family and religion, who's relationship is connected through redemption. That's the key, and their redemption comes through tragedy!! The film is gracefully told as a reflection by the seemingly ghostlike narrator (Scrap-Iron, played brilliantly by Morgan Freeman), and is focused on the relationship of boxing gym owner Frankie Dunn, and Maggie Fitzgerald a desperate and persistent female boxer. They are both played to absolute perfection by Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank who give the best best performances of thier careers. There are many depths and layers within the film, but ultimately I believe Million Dollar Baby to be (above all) an emotional journey with the characters which transcends any of it's themes. Million Dollar Baby is simply flawless in all aspects of filmmaking, acting, and writing. Absorbing, touching, and painful, this is a film you will not forget. Unforgiven may be Eastwood's quintessential film, Bird his most passionate, Mystic River his most haunting, but Million Dollar Baby is his most heartbreaking and to me his greatest accomplishment and among the very best American films ever made.
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