Million Dollar Baby

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(2004) ★★★★

Sky Atlantic: Thursday 24 September, 9pm

Oscar-winning Hilary Swank as trailer-park survivor determined to break into the fight game. Moving between light and dark with practised ease, Clint Eastwood shadow-boxes with a story – scripted by Crash Bafta-winner Paul Haggis – that drifts dangerously close to soapy waters. The spare, mournful music is by Clint too and, at the age of 74, he became the oldest person to win the Best Director Oscar (although the subsequent Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Changeling, and Gran Torino are all better pictures than this).

The film’s underlying emotional pull is provided by Morgan Freeman who, Shawshank-style, narrates the tale. He’s Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris and, funnily enough, Kiss the Girls also opened with Freeman at work in a boxing gym. Inconsistent though it is – Swank’s family are gross caricatures and her treatment in the ring would surely have seen her opponent gaoled – the film ends on a heart-piercing grace note that lingers long in the night.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 135min

IMDB – Million Dollar Baby

TMDB – Million Dollar Baby

Rotten Tomatoes – Million Dollar Baby

Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Atlantic Sunday, 27 September at 11:10PM