‘Million Dollar Baby’ on Netflix

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in 'Million Dollar Baby'

Always one of America’s most undervalued directors, Clint Eastwood is proving himself the American cinema’s national treasure in the third act of his impressive career. Million Dollar Baby (2004), an understated, unpretentious, powerfully told drama, adapted from F.X. Toole stories by Paul Haggis, earned Eastwood his second round of Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture (his first was for Unforgiven), as well as Oscars for Best Actress Hilary Swank and Best Supporting Actor Morgan Freeman.

Eastwood stars as Frankie (Eastwood), a craggy old boxing trainer and gym owner who lost his family years ago and now loses his best fighter out of paternal caution. Swank is 31-year-old boxing hopeful Maggie, a dreamer who was lost by her sorry family a long ago. He reluctantly takes her on as a pupil and they slowly become one another’s family, creating a father-daughter bond far stronger than any blood ties. Freeman, who also narrates, is the gym’s caretaker Scrap, a retired boxer who has no regrets. Compassionate and affecting, the film became the center of a controversy which distracted from the film’s real message: the power of the families we create when blood abandons us, and the sacrifices we make for that love.

Rated PG-13

Queue it up!

Also on disc and SVOD through Amazon Video and other services. Availability may vary by service.
Million Dollar Baby [DVD]
Million Dollar Baby (Three-Disc Collector’s Edition) [DVD]
Million Dollar Baby [Blu-ray]

Don’t miss a single recommendation. Subscribe to Stream On Demand to receive notifications of new posts (your E-mail address will not be shared) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Sean Axmaker

Sean Axmaker is a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, The Seattle Weekly, Keyframe, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org). He was a film critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for nine years and a longtime home video columnist for IMDb and MSN Movies, and his work has appeared in Indiewire, Today.com, The Stranger, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, Filmfax, Psychotronic Video, and "The Scarecrow Video Guide." You can find links to all of this and more on his shamelessly self-promoting blog at http://www.seanax.com/

Related posts