THE PRINCESS THEATER: "MILLION DOLLAR BABY"
"MILLION DOLLAR BABY"
Clint Eastwood's film wasn't supposed to be released until 2005, but his decision to rush the release in late 2004 was a great move since it has put his cast into contention for several awards this year, including a couple for himself.
When I saw "Ray" late last year, I thought for sure that movie would ruin the Oscars because it would take all the awards, most anyway. I now must change my opinion and say that "Ray" might be sharing a few of those trophies with Eastwood's masterpiece. To say the least, "Aviator" will be left out in the cold after the vote tallies are in. The director of that film has been left out several times in the past--with great films--and I think this will be another year of sitting on the bench for this crew.
Eastwood has come a long way since his "Dirty Harry" days; his work here is bordering on genius as he rips your heart out through your throat and practically kills you in your seat with this story. Kleenex should be close at hand for this film. Guys, if you are not comfortable shedding tears with a gal at your side, then don't see this film with her. Go alone.
For a film shot mostly in a gym, about a girl boxer and a broken down trainer and cut man, to have this great an impact on an audience, well, go figure. Just go see this film, enjoy, and know you've had the pleasure of witnessing one of the greatest films produced in recent times.
This film has no shoot'em ups, no car chases, no sex, and no violence outside the boxing segments; it has only the raw emotion brought on by the relationships of the few that interact in this film. It's simple, dark, and powerful.
Eastwood will make your day.
MY PREDICTIONS FOR THE OSCARS:
BEST PICTURE....MILLION DOLLAR BABY.
BEST DIRECTOR....CLINT EASTWOOD BEST ACTOR....TOSS UP...EITHER CLINT EASTWOOD OR JAMIE FOXX, BUT LEANING TOWARD EASTWOOD.
BEST ACTRESS....HILLARY SWANK
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR....MORGAN FREEMAN
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY....MILLION DOLLAR BABY.
UPDATE: Eastwood was on Jay Leno tonight promoting the movie. This guy is a class act, and funny, too. I have a Clint Eastwood story to tell, but will do it later after I locate a picture for it.
And, I saw "Ray" a second time and I'm now leaning towards Foxx for the Best Actor award. He is nothing short of great in this film. However, Eastwood is Foxx' only competition.