Volume 11, Number 20
28 February 2005

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This Week
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Atii.jpg (5753 bytes)Hey, you all! By the time you read these lines, the Academy Awards will already have been given. But right now, considering that I'm writing these lines on Thursday the 24th, I'm really curious about who the winners will be. Although I have certain conjectures about some categories, anything is possible in Hollywood, isn't it? Someone might be significantly disappointed.
Recently, I had the chance to see "Million Dollar Baby." Honestly speaking, the story of this film is a pure and simple one. However, the idea behind it is something deep. Each minute you keep saying to yourself, "This is true, this is real life." You will be saying these lines, especially, when the movie comes to an end.
"Million Dollar Baby," another work of art from Clint Eastwood, is about a girl who believes she can be a million-dollar boxer. You may think that the movie is all about boxing. However, it's not. It goes way beyond boxing. It has this huge, deep content inside. Since I don't want to spoil the experience for you, I'm going to tell only enough to give you a general idea. The story revolves around a passionate girl, an aging trainer and the trainer's close friend, who serves as the film's narrator. These roles are played by Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. Maggie (Swank), as a long-time waitress, feels that her talents are being thrown away. Believing she can make it big some day, she tries her luck in boxing and asks Frankie (Eastwood) to train her. The more Maggie insists, the harder it becomes for Frankie to train her. Then what? Well, this is the part where you have to find out what happens by seeing the movie.
I believe that this film's clarity is of a kind seldom seen in movies today. I have no doubt that you will sit quietly in your seats in the theater, with your attention focused on seemingly real lives. There is this saying in the movie, "If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs and ruptured kidneys." Although this saying seems to fit a particular scene, the idea also applies to the whole movie. The main characters are fighting beyond endurance not only in boxing, but in all aspects of their lives. When I consider the acting side of the movie, believe you me, words are not enough to describe the performances of Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank. (I don't think that Morgan Freeman did a great job of acting in this film. He was better in his previous movies.) Hilary Swank, especially, has this enormous strength in her acting because there is this perfect stillness and attention in her movements. That is why she is a strong candidate for an Oscar.
Besides all this, the cinematographer did a great job. Throughout the movie, there are significant scenes where the faces of the characters slide in and out of the shadows. This creates a magical correlation between the tones of the voices and the visuals. Also, a solo guitar accompanies such scenes, creating a very effective emotional atmosphere.
I think it will be really hard for the jury to choose the winner from among the candidates for the Academy Awards. However, I believe “Million Dollar Baby” will win the biggest Oscars. Well, we’ll see. Have fun and stay cool.

Rating (5 out of 5):


Atilla Karakurum (IE/IV)


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