I watched Million Dollar Baby today and, call me a wimp, call me soft, but I blubbered like a baby. I thought that it was a splendid film, surprising, in light of the fact that it came out of the Hollywood school of cinematic fairy floss. The handling of the characters was realistic, the dialogue was believable, and it didn't back down from some very important issues - issues from which most American commercial directors give a wide birth.
The most impressive feature of the film was Hilary Swank and the treatment of her female character. There was no molly-coddling, no tokenism and no sense of the sensational. When she was throwing punches I was ducking and weaving with her. It was one of the few female characters that I've watched in recent times that has really inspired me: no shirking, no pretending, no glitter. I just hope that Hollywood sees fit to portray female leads of this caliber (ergo, not token supports) in the future. To cap that off, Swank's acting was fantastic - she didn't turn her character into an unbelievable feminist super-hero - she simply portrayed a woman wanting, or rather expecting, a shot at something she knew she had a talent for.
So that is two Clint Eastwood directed films that I've found most enjoyable; and two stellar acting performances courtesy of Hilary Swank: two thumbs up for both of them.
Well, I would actually need four thumbs for that, but it's a metaphor...