Million Dollar Baby

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Million Dollar Baby

Taylor Dowell, Reporter

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In 2004 one of the most inspiring movies of all time was released. Although many people haven’t seen it because of its age, it is still one of the best movies ever made. Million Dollar Baby is the story of Maggie “Mo Cuishle” Fitzgerald. This movie is both brutal and heart-touching as it follows the journey of a women chasing her dreams.

Maggie, played by Hilary Swank, is trying to make ends meet in Los Angeles when she decides to start training as a boxer.  She soon finds herself in a local gym owned by Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). At first Frankie refuses to train her because she is a girl. Maggie befriends Scrap (Morgan Freeman), and he becomes the first person to believe in her.

When Frankie’s star boxer leaves him for another agent, he decides he has nothing left to lose and agrees to train Maggie. After several weeks of training, Frankie decides it’s time for Maggie’s first fight. The boxing scenes in this movie are realistic, and can seem scary to some younger viewers.  

Maggie’s first match lasts less than one round. Maggie is the winner by knockout. This becomes her signature way of winning fights.

This movie has the ability to make anyone laugh. Frankie’s relationship with both Maggie and Scrap give the movie humor. In one of the scenes Frankie tells Maggie she is not allowed to ask him any questions. Maggie’s response is to ask why. Ironic jokes like this are found throughout the movie.

Before one of her fights, Frankie gives Maggie a robe with the words “mo cuishle” across the back. This robe gives Maggie her name and boxing fans begin to fall in love with her. Maggie wins fight after fight until Frankie accepts a title fight. They travel to Las Vegas for the WBA women’s welterweight championship of the world. Maggie’s opponent, Billie “The Blue Bear” Osterman, is known as one of the dirtiest fighters in boxing. Billie is played Lucia Rijker, who is a professional boxer. Her boxing experience gives the scene an edge.

When the fight begins Maggie is taking hit after hit. However, this doesn’t phase her. Soon Maggie begins to dominate the fight. After the bell sounds, Maggie begins walking to her corner where her stool is waiting. Bille comes from behind and punches Maggie in the jaw, knocking her out. Before Frankie can move the stool, she crashes into it. Her neck hits the edge of the stool. Everyone in the room holds their breath, but Maggie doesn’t get up.

When Maggie wakes up, she is in the hospital with several tubes and machines connected to her. Maggie is paralyzed from the neck down. Frankie calls every hospital he can think of and tries to find someone to fix Maggie, but none of them can.

The next few scenes leave some viewers in tears. Maggie is stuck in her hospital bed for months. She develops painful sores all over her body. Her leg becomes badly infected, and doctors decide to amputate. Maggie asks Frankie to do something unthinkable. She asks Frankie to help her die.

At this point most people watching the movie are sobbing. After a having a heart to heart with his priest, Frankie decides he has to help Maggie no matter how much he wants her to stay.

This tear jerker teaches audiences about the importance of friendship and family. The relationships between characters make the movie heartfelt and memorable. This movie won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture in 2005.