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JMeganSnow

Million Dollar Baby

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I checked but I didn't find a thread on this movie yet.

I just saw it tonight, and I think it was probably the best movie I've seen in years. The heroine was completely human and yet larger-than-life, much like John Galt is in Atlas Shrugged. She lives on her terms, and that's it.

"All fighters are pigheaded about something . . . there's always one thing that you can't beat out of them no matter how much you try, even if they know it'll be the ruin of them. But then, if you could beat it out of them, they wouldn't be fighters at all."

Wonderfully selfish art. Extremely romantic. I cried for an hour and a half.

Spoiler alert

The best part of the movie, I think, is when she throws her family out of her hospital room and refuses to sign her money over to them.

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I just saw this movie tonight as well. I fully enjoyed the first half. Obviously there was a shift, and while I enjoyed the character Swank portrayed throughout the movie I feel like Clint (as a director) didn't quite get the message across that she was still a hero. It almost had (I felt) an ambiguous tone-- like they weren't making a judgement on the right to die and the implications of that choice on a once heroic character. Even if Clint implied his judgement. Still a well made and acted movie.

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I didn't notice that so much, Michero. After all:

"In the middle of the night, Maggie found her own solution--she bit her tongue . . ."

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I didn't notice that so much, Michero.  After all:

"In the middle of the night, Maggie found her own solution--she bit her tongue . . ."

I did like that touch. Swanks character maintained her personality and heroism despite her situation. Now thinking about it I really liked that line Swank delivered, something like : I fought my way into this world and I'll fight my way out. Perhaps I was wrong in my judgement. I'd like to see that movie again.

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It sounds like I will have to try to track this down and make my own judgement on it. but it sounds good from what you people say about it.

I dont recall hearing anything about it, but I have probably just forgotten. It does not sound like the sort of movie most people (surprise surprise) would enjoy.

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It sounds like I will have to try to track this down and make my own judgement on it.  but it sounds good from what you people say about it. 

I dont recall hearing anything about it, but I have probably just forgotten.  It does not sound like the sort of movie most people (surprise surprise) would enjoy.

Actually I heard too much about it (the ending though not in specific detail) which made me avoid seeing to movie for months until my father rented it. The first half-75% of the movie I found incredible enjoyable. Especially the relationship between Swank and Clint, it reminded me of Roark and Cameron's interactions.

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Although ultimately this was a great movie, I had some difficulty really appreciating the sense of life that was supposed to be depicted here. It most certainly, for me anyhow, was a dark, depressing movie. If one is used to a hero or heroine overcoming the odds and achieving glory, then this movie is not for such person.

I will say this- some of the comments I read on this thread have been very enlightening as to the character of the heroine, Maggie Fitzgerald, who, although severely paralyzed, had the fortitude to kick her parents out of the hospital room.

Knowing she could not live the quality of life she aspired, and briefly enjoyed, she chose to end it- with Eastwood's character assisting such ending.

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I saw this movie and, like Jennifer, I would rate it among the best I've seen. I was expecting a movie like Hoosiers or Titans, with boxing as the sport of choice this time, or a movie like Antwone Fisher, with a theme of making it against the odds. The movie had a more important theme. It concretizes what is meant by "living", by "life as the standard of value".

Some may not like the heroine's choice of goal: becoming a boxer. I'm happy to give her that; happy to assume that she has good reasons, like someone else may want to climb Mt. Everest. The audience is confronted with this question: should the heroine struggle -- workout rigorously, endure rejection, skimp on food -- to achieve the goal she has set herself? Why doesn't she give up and go get a simple job, find a soul-mate, raise some kids and live happily ever after? If life is the standard of value, is her choice justified? Is it worth it?

The movie asks the question and presents an unambiguous answer. The plot dramatizes the theme excellently. The three main characters are good people.

Don't wait... see it soon!

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I almost feel ashamed to say this, but I have avoided seeing this movie because of negative comments made about when it was first released by voices on the right (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.). I usually don't let anyone opinions influence my decisions about movies (or anything for that matter), but I somewhat trusted their opinions because I like most of their political views except when religion gets involved or their ideas derived from it. This I think might be one of those case's and I didn't realize it until now.

In other words, I trust the opinions above in this thread to a much higher degree than theirs and when I have saw a movie recommended by many Objectivists I haven't been dissapointed yet.

Oh yeah, I think I am about to rent it tonight when I take back "The Bad News Bears". Which is a horrible movie, stay away from it if you value your rationality.

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Although ultimately this was a great movie, I had some difficulty really appreciating the sense of life that was supposed to be depicted here. It most certainly, for me anyhow, was a dark, depressing movie. If one is used to a hero or heroine overcoming the odds and achieving glory, then this movie is not for such person.

It was a tragedy, yes, but I don't think it depicted a tragic sense of life. The idea was that, yes, bad things happen, but no matter what happens you can still take them on your own terms. A real champion cannot be defeated by any accident or happenstance or fate or doom.

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I almost feel ashamed to say this, but I have avoided seeing this movie because of negative comments made about when it was first released by voices on the right (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc.). I usually don't let anyone opinions influence my decisions about movies (or anything for that matter), but I somewhat trusted their opinions because I like most of their political views except when religion gets involved or their ideas derived from it.
I had a similar reaction to reviews of the movie when I heard Michael Medved talk about it on his radio show. He was upset about the assisted suicide angle and thought that it didn't belong in the movie. Anyhow, I rented it last night and would highly recommend the film. It's a great story about life and I just love the way the heroine's white trash, welfare cheat family is portrayed.

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*** SPOILERS ***

The assisted suicide is integral to the movie, rather than simply an add-on; but, it is not the focus of the movie. When the movie begins, it appears like a sports movie where the odds-on favorite is upset by the young upstart. The movie dramatized that part well. If the movie had ended like that, it would have been a nice movie that was simply repeating the theme of many movies before it. Good, but not great.

Viewing it, the twist upset me at first, because I wondered if Clint had decided to tell a tragic tale where greatness is fleeting. I wouldn't put it past him, after "Unforgiven", which I disliked for it's moral ambiguity. However, as the plot progressed, I saw that it all made sense. Even the choice of a dangerous career like boxing made sense. The theme of the movie was verbalized by Eddie (Morgan Freeman), when he said something to the effect that, in her short life, Maggie (Hilary Swank) had lived more than many, many others who live much longer but mostly exist. She, on the other hand, had grabbed at what she wanted, achieved it, and come out on top. Most people would die to have lived their dream with the same passion as she had.

I don't see this as a movie where "pro-assisted suicide" was a major message either. The tragic turn of events is integral to the plot because "fate" puts Maggie into a corner, saying: "Got you now! How're you going to get out of this one." To me the message was more: you, the individual, can always act. This was the perfect romanticist movie, where the actors enact causes... spitting in the face of "fate". I often weep at really tragic movies, but not at this one. I wasn't holding back tears either. I just felt an uplifting sense sense of: wow! that is what life is all about.

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I just saw it and it was pretty good, but I still can't believe how evil her family was. They were altruists at their most dispicable. It's nice to see a movie that shows that explicitly. And contrasts that with a strong, goal-oriented egoist. I actually think that might have been the actual reason the right-wingers talked so bad about the movie. But they couldn't say aloud that it was their real reason and they probably only noticed it as a "feeling" that they wouldn't identify to themselves. So they jumped on a concrete (the assisted suicide) that they could talk down on about the movie instead.

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They were altruists at their most dispicable.

I watched the movie today (on Hi Def, gotta luv it!) and I enjoyed it.

I agree with your evaluation but unfortunately I don't think the mainstream would see them as the altruists. Instead, the mainstream probably recognizes their behavior as "selfish" in it's current mainstream usage. And likewise with the heroine, instead of seeing the act of buying a house for her mother as acting to further one's values, they would probably view that as the selfless act.

Then again, I'm sure neither of us lose a lot of sleep over what the mainstream thinks. :P

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JMeganSnow:

I agree 100% that it is an absolutely brilliant film that is really worth watching. Finally Hollywood depicts someone that isn't born into wealth as volitional and capable of fighting for value...not an inherent victim.

I think that is probably why I loved the film so much. John Galt wasn't born into money, neither was Hillary Swank's character. That didn't stop the fire and steel in her spirit. WHAT A HEROINE!!! WOW. I was so impressed with her, Morgan Freeman, and Clint Eastwood on this movie.

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I don't know how old this threead is, so I guess I'll be bumping it up. I recently saw this movie and I was very surprised just how "romantic" it was! I really did not expect it because of all the negative attention drawn to the assisted suicide aspect.

I would just like to add that although "tragic" this movie was ultimately triumphant which can be seen in the line Maggie delivers which goes something like: "They were chanting my name, don't let me go on so long I can't hear them no more."

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I saw it a couple weeks ago. I thought it was a brilliant and completely depressing movie. Not in the "sense of life" aspect...just it seemed such a shame. Especially from such a dirty fighter (the one who put her in that predicament). Anyways, definitely a good movie.

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