Million Dollar Baby is a classic. Each character in the movie has a life of his own. I felt as if I could personally relate to each one. Even after the film ended, it was like these characters continued on, and I wondered what would happen to Frankie (Clint Eastwood), Eddie, 'Danger' and the whole gang.
The story is rich and unexpected. It starts out as your typical underdog sports movie. Maggie (Hilary Swank) is the unknown up and coming boxer with a lot of promise, who finally convinces Frankie to train her. At first, Frankie wants nothing to do with the young lady's boxing career. He's seen enough fights, had enough heartaches in the past to get emotionally involved. But eventually he gives in to her tenacity. And a good thing too because she has the heart of a true champion. And Frankie soon enough starts coaching her and treats her like his own daughter. Which is ironic because his own flesh and blood daughter refuses to have anything to do with him. He writes to his real daughter every month but the letters are always returned. It is not known what is the source of the conflict.
There are many great scenes, good quotes, and one interesting plot twist in this film. I can't describe them here because to do so would give away crucial parts of the story. You'll have to watch them yourself and laugh, cheer, and cry as I did. There is an extremely powerful scene where Frankie finally reveals to Maggie the true meaning of the nickname he gave her. What totally blew me away was the brief final scene at the diner where the picture fades, the one right before the credits roll. Never had something on the big screen moved me as much as Million Dollar Baby. One of the best flicks ever made and my number one movie of 2005.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars * * * * *
Must-watch. Highest recommendation.