Clint Eastwood plays a boxing trainer who takes a young woman under his wing and helps make her dream of fighting for the title come true.
Million Dollar Baby is not your usual sports melodrama. Although it unashamedly tugs at the heart strings, it does so through well-rounded, sympathetic characters and sensitive performances rather than cynical manipulation and empty schmaltz. There is a lot of warmth and humour in the relationship between crotchety old men Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, who know each other too well to be bound by the usual social conventions, and Swank makes a fine fist of a young woman who is told she is past her prime but too desperate to escape her trailer trash roots to give up; in fact when you see her family, it is impossible not to root for her all the more.
Guilty of sentimentality yes, but it is done with sincerity and heart and next to Raging Bull, is probably the second best boxing movie ever made.