Dollar Baby (12A)
Directed by Clint Eastwood, written by F.X. Toole, screenplay by Paul
On general release
In some ways this is an old fashioned film, directed by and starring
Clint Eastwood, about a rags to riches story which has a tragic twist
at the end. But I fail to understand why it has been praised so much and
has been nominated for an Oscar award in several categories.
It is a simple tale of Maggie (Hilary Swank) who is employed in dead-end
jobs and aspires to become a professional female boxer. She finally persuades
old-time trainer Frankie (Clint Eastwood), or "boss" as she
repeatedly calls him, to reluctantly take her under his wing to help her
in this quest.
She quickly climbs the ladder of success with a series of knock-out victories
against hapless opponents, but her career is terminated when she is left
paralysed following a fight.
Unable to cope with being confined to a bed or a wheelchair for the rest
of her life, she pleads with Frankie to cut off her life support system in
the hospital. Apparently the pro-life movement in the USA were outraged by
The film does not carry enough depth in its characters to make me believe
in them. There are too many stereotypes including the crooked lawyer, washed
up boxers, unscrupulous managers, etc.
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris (Morgan Freeman), who works and lives at Frankie's
gym, is the narrator throughout the film. It is the second time he has
teamed up with Eastwood, following their pairing in the epic Western 'Unforgiven'.