Wednesday, 15 December 2004
The first rule of boxing, we’re told, is “protect yourself at all times.” But though this movie deals with boxers and is rarely far from the ring, it’s not about boxing, but about relationships. And though you can try to apply that same rule to relations with other people, if you’re human, you can’t. Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) thinks he has done what’s necessary to protect himself, but he’s not the cold guy he pretends to be. That’s his salvation and, sadly, his sorrow. However, Eastwood knows, and wants us to know, that despite what happens to Frankie, he’d rather have gone through all this than not. You’ll probably feel the same way.
“Million Dollar Baby” is one of the best films of Eastwood’s career as a boxer. It doesn’t have the emotional complexity of “Mystic River,” nor the shattering effect ...