A seasoned FBI agent pursues Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor.
Wanting to learn from the best, aspiring boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) wants Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to train her. At the outset, he flatly refuses saying he has no interest in training a girl. Frankie leads a lonely existence, alienated from his only daughter and having few friends. Maggie's rough around the edges, but shows a lot of grit in the ring and he eventually relents. Maggie not only proves to be the boxer he always dreamed of having under his wing, but a friend who fills the great void he's had in his life. Maggie's career skyrockets, but an accident in the ring leads her to ask Frankie for one last favor.Written by
The first scene with Father Horvak is an overhead shot of him leaving the church talking with a parishioner. The parishioner has a bag in her right hand. The next shot switches to a head-on shot of them a second later but the parishioner has the bag in her left hand, too fast for her to have switched hands between the two shots. See more »
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris:
Only ever met one man I wouldn't wanna fight. When I met him he was already the best cut man in the business. Started training and managing in the sixties, but never lost his gift.
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The Warner Brothers logo is the classic shield version, shown in a color palette (mainly black and white, with a dark green tint) matching the "feel" of the movie, and is static instead of the modern 3D animated sequence. See more »
Or at least it seems like genuine emotions in this masterpiece of a film which incidentally is Eastwood's best drama so far and considering how good Mystic River is that's saying something. The storytelling is both fluent and well paced and all actors involved deliver some of their best work so far which is mainly because Eastwood is so good at bringing out the best in his actors. I think people who have watched this film and Mystic River will agree. Eastwood is a no-nonsense story teller and cuts right through to the bone which means that there aren't many subplots and this is a really good thing in this film because the main story doesn't need a large number of subplots to steal away attention. Also at a running length of 2 hours the film would undoubtedly have been too long if Eastwood had added any more subplots.
The acting is as mentioned earlier very, very good. Clint chose to appear in this film himself as he does in many of the films he directs but there is something different about him this time around. Eastwood isn't known as a director who pours his soul out on the screen but in this film he seems to add a few emotions to his range of acting. He is still a tough guy as can be heard from his voice but he is also just a vulnerable old man with an estranged daughter. Its hard to write about his performance without spoiling the film so I'll just say this: This is his most well rounded character to date in spite of the fact that it seems a little far fetched that Eastwood would want to learn Gaelic. Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her performance in this film and in my opinion it was well earned. She plays her character in a way so the character becomes almost instantly likable and you cannot help but root for her. This ability to draw the audience in and make them feel is very rare but Swank seems to have mastered it. Overall her performance is impressive. The last notable actor is of course Morgan Freeman who finally won his Oscar. He brings his usual authority and authenticity to the character and while he is "only" a supporting character in this film he definitely puts his signature on it with some very moving scenes. The rest of the cast is decent but as the emphasis is on the three mentioned above there is no reason to talk about them further.
The script is rather simple but its simplicity is a quality mark. The film takes you in one direction only to take a twist and turn into something completely different and as the audience had just gotten used to the direction the film was going the twist seems like a genuine shock. I'm not telling what the twist is you're just going to have to watch the film and find out for yourself. The dialog is both witty and intelligent and above all it seems real. Believable. And because of the first class acting it feels even better. When I say that the dialog seems real in fact I mean the entire film seems real. Genuine. Everything from the acting to the atmosphere is highly believable and real even though Swank's character's family and the character of Danger lean ever so slightly towards caricature.
The film really managed to draw me in and I felt with and for the characters of the film. The characters are the driving factor of the film and luckily the actors who portray them are skilled enough to make them seem real. Eastwood outdid himself in the drama genre with this film which is undoubtedly one of his best. It doesn't seem fair to compare the film to Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) as they are very different films in terms of genre and target group.
Million Dollar Baby is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2004 and is deserving of the Oscar it received in the Best Film category as well as the other Oscars it was awarded.
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