The Electric Commentary

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ebert calls Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" the best film of the year.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Morgan Freeman is the narrator, just as he was in "The Shawshank Redemption," which this film resembles in the way the Freeman character describes a man who became his lifelong study. The voice is flat and factual: You never hear Scrap going for an affect or putting a spin on his words. He just wants to tell us what happened. He talks about how the girl walked into the gym, how she wouldn't leave, how Frankie finally agreed to train her, and what happened then. But Scrap is not merely an observer; the film gives him a life of his own when the others are offscreen. It is about all three of these people.

Hilary Swank is astonishing as Maggie. Every note is true. She reduces Maggie to a fierce intensity. Consider the scene where she and Scrap sit at a lunch counter, and Scrap tells how he lost the sight in one eye, how Frankie blames himself for not throwing in the towel. It is an important scene for Freeman, but I want you to observe how Swank has Maggie do absolutely nothing but listen. No "reactions," no little nods, no body language except perfect stillness, deep attention and an unwavering gaze.


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