adrian is rad


Million Dollar Baby

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:06 am

I saw Million Dollar Baby last night. It’d been getting good reviews so I thought I’d check it out.

It’s good enough to warrant the praise. I remember after I saw Steamboat Bill, Jr. at LSC (with Marty Marks on the piano) with Wally, afterwards he wanted to leap and bound up the side of the student center, like something Buster Keaton would do. A good movie will make you do that. Today I want to jump rope and get some gloves and a bag.

Another sign of a good film is that it sticks with you. This one is so far. I’m still mulling it over.

The acting is top-notch. Hilllary Swank gives a fantastic performace. The sort of performance were she’d been living the life of the character all her life and someone asked her to do it in front of camera and she said “It’s all the same to me, boss.” Clint Eastwood. He acts almost by not acting. His performance is straight and without frills, yet that’s what it makes it so great; and that’s what keeps this movie real when it threatens to degrade into sentimental mush. Morgan Freeman’s performance as friend-cum-narrator is good, but not as nuanced as Eastwood or Swank.

The story could have stopped at other points or moved in different directions, but the success of the movie is in large part because it doesn’t take the easy ending. Not all the questions are answered. Much like Nowhere in Africa this movie benefits greatly from not telling the audience what is right or wrong, but to lay out a complicated story and leave it to the audience how to feel.

The screen play needs to be applauded as well. It’s told as one story line—no flashbacks, no starting the movie in 1958 and then jumping to present or whatever. Those sort of tricks would have hurt this movie.

Eastwood directs as well and he does a masterful job of minimalist film making. The movie, as well as his performance, are stripped down and presented without Hollywood tricks. It’s all there for you to see and that’s alright because it’s all good.

The film’s not perfect, but the reasons why are pretty nitpicky and I think many of you wouldn’t notice them unless I point them out, so I won’t.

I need to check out Eastwood’s other movies as a director.

One Response to “Million Dollar Baby”

  1. adrian is rad » Flags of our Fathers and the greatest generation Says:

    […] Despite liking the book and Clint Eastwood’s previous directorial work, I hadn’t been looking forward to Flags of our Fathers much. Maybe I just felt that the World War II movie had been played out or that Eastwood’s touch wouldn’t be as deft in a subject that tends to be done in an epic and over-the-top manner. But the critics seemed to be liking it, so I thought I’d catch a show yesterday at the new megaplex down in Redwood City. […]

Powered by WordPress