Million Dollar Baby was released in 2004 and is directed by Clint Eastwood.
Maggie asks Frankie Dunn, a boxing trainer, to train her, but he refuses because she is a woman and 31 years old. She perseveres, encouraged by and Frank's friend and employee, ex-boxer Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris. Scrap is the narrator of the story.
When Dunn's star boxer, Big Willie, signs another manager, Dunn agrees to train Maggie. She fights her way up to the welterweight division, winning most games with first-round knockouts. As time goes, Dunn comes to establish a strong bond with Maggie. Finally he secures her a $1 million title match in Las Vegas against "The Blue Bear", a German ex-prostitute who has a reputation for dirty fighting. As Maggie begins to dominate the fight, Billie knocks her out with a punch from behind. Maggie lands on a stool, breaks her neck, and is left permanently immobilized from the neck down. After several months in a specialized institution, she asks Dunn to help her die while she can still remember her success, but he refuses. When she tries to kill herself, he finally agrees to it; before administering a fatal dose of adrenaline, he tells Maggie the meaning of her nickname Mo Cuishle : "my darling, and my blood". Afterwards, he disappears.
I knew the story beforehand, but watching it was till amazing: the actors are fantastic. Maggie’s willpower transpires and get the spectator rooting for her, we see Dunn’s own demons fade away as his relationship with Maggie goes stronger, her family is just enough unpleasant so that we want to take them out for good. It is difficult to deal with the theme of euthanasia right, but here it is the logical step, the only solution, and no matter the opinion on the topic, here it is obvious for anyone watching there is no other solution. Hell, if it had been me I probably would not have waited so long. I also think that Maggie wants to die for the reasons she mentions, but also because she does not want Dunn to feel he has to be here for her. This is also a story about passion and willingness to follow dreams, at all costs, no matter what other people say.
I am sorry to report I had never watched a movie with Clint Eastwood (note to self: add The Bridges of Madison County to the list) and am now a fan. I like Hilary Swank, she is an amazing actress, and a lucky one, too: in the movie, she gets to be best friends with both Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman! Although I am not sure she did anything worth it since this film?
A simple story, told simply and decently. Loved it.