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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sean Kelly

Million Dollar Baby's chance of winning Best Picture hurt over controversy. (SPOILERS)

NOTE: DO NOT READ THIS POST IF HAVEN'T ALREADY SEEN MILLION DOLLAR BABY AND YOU PLAN ON DOING DO

Conservatives can really be something. They will do anything to try and protect the perfect society that they see in their minds.

Heck, they would even give away the ending of a movie.

Here's the deal. The movie "Million Dollar Baby" really takes a turn into left field, for the final third. Hilary Swank's character of Maggie Fitzgerald is paralyzed, in a fight, and spends the rest of the film either in bed or in a wheel chair. After her success as a boxer, Maggie didn't like the thought of the living the rest of her life as a cripple (not only was she paralyzed but she couldn't breathe on her own and, as a result of infections, she lost her leg). As a result, she asks Clint Eastwood's character of Frankie Dunn to pull the plug. Even though he refused at first, Frankie reluctantly does the deed.

Now convservatives, in their great wisdom, decided to interprete this as the focus of the film. I read today on IMDb that various critics and commentators intentionally revealed the above plot element. More specifically the people quoted in the article are Rush Limbaugh and Michael Medved.

The article says that Limbaugh said that "the real subject of the movie is, when this heroize becomes paralyzed, she wants to die and they say, 'Okay, you'd be better off dead,' and they pretty much zap her. I apparently spoke out of school, as a movie critic and reviewer, uh, ladies and gentlemen. I just feel terrible about this."

In addition, Michael Medved said that he revealed the ending because "there are competing moral demands that come into the job of a movie critic. We have a moral and fairness obligation to not spoil movies. On the other hand, our primary moral obligation is to tell the truth." Medved also said that he "hated this movie," and he said that "They didn't want to tell people what it is [about] because no one would come."

The article also said that an organization of paraplegics also rallied against the movie.

All I have to say is "Lighten Up People!"

First off, I should say, even though I'm a liberal, I am far from a supporter of euthanasia. I would never pull the plug on anybody, no matter how much they asked for it.

However, you have to look at this incident from Maggie and Frankies point-of-view.

At the end of the movie, Frankie was all Maggie had left. The last we see of Maggie's family, they are trying to get her to sign away her money to them.

Maggie strongly believed that her life peaked when she became a successful boxer. She didn't want to live with the anguish that she was never going to reach that level ever again.

Frankie DID NOT want to pull the plug on Maggie. Maggie was the closest thing to a daughter that he had left. It wasn't really until Maggie (twice) attempted suicide (by biting her tounge) and Frankie saw that she had to be kept under sedation that he reluctantly decided to do the deed.

But those conservatives wouldn't say all that. Would they?

It's a shame really. Million Dollar Baby was pretty much a last minute Oscar contender and it would be a shame if it's chances are hurt over this controversy. Here's hoping the Academy is smarter than a bunch of conservative complainers.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).