I watched Million Dollar Baby yesterday afternoon. I hadn’t planned on it. I was just looking for something to pass the time while I waited for Gilmore Girls to come on. (The one in syndication on the Family channel, not the prime time version.) I knew the story was about a scrappy female boxer & her relationship with her trainer/manager. I knew that it had received enormous critical acclaim. I knew that it had won the “Best Picture” Oscar (among others). I did not know the last 45 minutes would be absolute torture.
I’m still trying to figure out why the movie was such a big hit with critics. For such a lauded film, I didn’t think it was that artistic. There wasn’t a lot of depth to the characters (they were either good or bad), I thought some of the cinimatography was a bit hokey. And the story was just a bit too clichÃ©d. Granted, the performances were excellent. But there’s about a million reasons why the ending would never have happened in real life.
I would have absolutely hated to have seen this movie in the theaters. I bawled so hard my face hurt. And I had to spend about 5 minutes splashing my face with cold water, just to feel like a human being again.
The weird thing is, I’m not a Catholic, and I do believe in euthanasia. So that’s not the part of the story that bothered me. It’s just that I was so damned depressed after the movie, and carried that awful feeling the rest of the night. I tried to keep my mind busy so that I wouldn’t think too much about it. But even though I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. (anything past 11:00 p.m. is way too late for me) and was totally exausted, the movie crept back into my head. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
I guess that’s the sign of a good film, that it stays with you for a long after you’ve watched it. That it pulls you in so far, you feel you’re part of the story. But honestly, I don’t watch movies so that I can feel like shit. Life is bad enough. I don’t need to feel any worse than I already do, and that’s what this movie did to me.