Sunday, 22 March 2009


I am not a huge fan of boxing although I admit I can be seduced into watching the big name fights. My problem is that I feel guilty that I am entertained by a sport that depends on one person inflicting b rain damage on another. On the other hand I am a great fan of boxing movies.The undoubted drama of the ring has lent itself to some good and even great films, Edward Dmytrk's THE SET UP, Mark Robson's THE HARDER THEY FALL, Robert Wise's SOMEBODY UP THERE LOVES ME, Ralph Nelson's REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT, Mark Robson's CHAMPION and Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL to name a few. Most, if not all these films, portray the corruption of the fight game or the personal price payed by the fighters. To this honourable tradition we can now add Clint Eastwood's MILLION DOLLAR BABY. The film centres on the ambitions of a wannabe woman fighter (superbly played by Hilary Swank) and her almost reluctant trainer played by director Clint Eastwood - looking grizzled enough to have had a life in the ring. The film switches moods abruptly two thirds of the way through and becomes something entirely different to what I expected. It is a powerful, heartbreakingly thoughful film beautifully directed by Eastwood (who has undeniably become on of the very finest of American directors. With a great performance by Morgan Freeman. One of the best American films of recent years. Rating *****

1 comment:

Aaron White said...

I couldn't agree with you more. This and his Mystic River are probably two of the 10 best films of the 00s, but that's another discussion