Viewed – 14 March 2009 Blu-ray
I wanted to see this around the time it won all the Oscars, but for one reason or another just didn’t. It was always on my to-do list though, and having loved Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s most recent effort, the timing couldn’t be better.
Hilary Swank plays a troubled woman who turns to boxing as a escape from a crappy life where her family don’t give a damn about her. Turning to ageing trainer Clint Eastwood, she eventually persuades him to help her become a boxer, despite his better judgement. Soon enough though she’s in the ring and bringing in the money and making a helluva name for herself.
Like Gran Torino, Clint plays an old fashioned, set in his ways man who finds a new lease of life through this woman, and it’s a heart-warming feel good film with some great fights in the ring made all the more powerful with a female fighter getting herself hurt just to prove herself. Morgan Freeman lends support but I didn’t see anything to warrant his Oscar nod over Eastwood who is truly mesmerising throughout, and I thought Hilary Swank was very deserving of her Oscar, her performance both charming and heart breaking – possibly her finest role to date. It also is very maturely written and doesn’t give you all the answers, leaving me with plenty to think and talk about post-credits.
To put it simply, this is essential.
Verdict: 5 /5