We’ve all been reading about Eastwood’s new movie, a particularly Clintian broth boiling machismo down to the savory whiff of destiny. The 5:17 to Paris promises us heroes who’d been in training all their lives, unwittingly and otherwise. It sets itself up as a comforting alternative to our current reality, a world in which to be American is to be ready–and not ashamed. I’ll see the movie, and lick the popcorn butter off my fingers, and remember a time in which that seemed a possibility. ‘Cos it sure doesn’t feel that way anymore.
But all the publicity made me think of my favorite Eastwood movie, one seasoned with the regret and loss of age plus the transformative zest of friendship. Plus pie. And that’s Million Dollar Baby.
I once read an article in London’s Evening Standard in which a journalist took England’s most famous female boxer, Cathy Brown, to see Million Dollar Baby. Brown had recently knocked out Hungarian Viktoria Varga after just two rounds– exactly the type of fight Hilary Swank’s character, Maggie, excels at in the film. I’ve seen the film again recently and nowadays it’s even more satisfying to watch Swank swing out a meaty arm and knock someone senseless. I just wish we could CGI a #metoo tattoo on her knuckles.