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Million Dollar Champ

Histoire(s) du cinéma: Leopard Club Award Hilary Swank

Million Dollar Champ

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© Collection Cinémathèque suisse. Tous droits réservés

The genre ‘Sports movies’ is one of the most iconic in American cinema. During the decades, it has been the best way to explain this culture to both themselves and to the rest of the world. But there's more, because a field, a ring, a finish line is always more than this. Home run, touchdown, knock out are part of a set of life’s metaphors and champions, or the wannabes or runners-up, are both modern heroes and Don Quixote.

Million Dollar Baby is the perfect compendium of all these elements combined. There's the old coach, the young hope looking for a reason to live, there's a story full of empowerment, redemption, drama, a dysfunctional father – daughter relationship and, most of all, a deep moral debate about the value of life. All these elements are all perfectly fused mostly thanks to Hilary Swank's outstanding physical and emotional performance, probably one of the most well-deserved Academy Awards ever. And yes, of course there is Mr. Clint Eastwood also, but it’s evidently the will of the actor to fade in front of his Million Dollar Star and, being on-screen director, incredibly proud to hand over to her the champ’s crown. It's neither ordinary nor easy. But it was the best choice. Just like a counter left jab.

Alessandro De Simone
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