SPOILER ALERT — I have wanted to talk about this movie for a while now but haven’t gotten around to it for one reason or another. Maybe it is because this film depressed me to no end, such that I found myself unable to jot down a simple word or two about it. Now that some time has passed, I feel compelled to talk about the effect that this production had upon me. From its title, Million Dollar Baby, I mistakenly thought the movie would be an upbeat beat success story about how the individual can conquer all and eventually win a million dollars. Boy, was I wrong. The movie ended on such a very depressing note. It was not at all what I expected from a movie that went home with this year’s best motion picture Oscar.
For some reason, I wanted the movie to inspire me, perk me up or even give me a new thought or two to contemplate. I don’t remember being as depressed after watching a film since seeing the House of Sand and Fog. I do have to admit that technically this movie was well made, however. Hillary Swank did a brilliant job that certainly merited her Oscar win. One sentence that stuck with me throughout the picture was: "She grew up knowing one thing, that she was trash." God, how depressing is that.
But as I’ve searched to find a bright side to this film, I only had to look as far as its star, Hillary Swank, who’s inspiring story mirrors that told in the film in some ways. As a girl who herself grew up in a trailer, Swank had nothing but a dream, a dream that has thus far secured her two Oscars. Now that is what I call the realization of the American dream.
So if you were to ask me if the film deserves a "Best Motion Picture" Oscar I would say yes and no. Yes, because it was very well made (edited and directed) and the acting was superb. And no, because I thought the Aviator was better on a number of other levels that made it more deserving of this title. Here is my review of that film.