Hilary Swank Month #1: Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry

Million Dollar Baby

Pulling on the emotional heartstrings of all who watched it, this movie tells the tale of one woman’s quest for greatness that ends in turmoil. The story follows “Frankie” and “Maggie” played by Clint Eastwood who directed and also stares in the movie, Hilary Swank as Maggie and Morgan Freeman who plays the role of Frankie’s assistant.

This 2004 Academy Award Winning movie came under a lot of criticism due to the abrupt ending and accompanying story line. Said to be the female version of “Rocky”, with a slight twist in the ending, the story reveals compassion, determination and the bitter encounters of both Frankie and Maggie as they battle for the boxing title.

Retired boxing trainer Frankie, refuses to train the Missouri born waitress when she initially approaches him at his run down gym in LA. Haunted by past misfortunes, Frankie refuses to relive the past, convinced that Maggie is too old for the boxing circuit. When Maggie finally shows her capabilities for the fight and passion that will see her through to the end, Frankie ultimately agrees.

Securing a championship deal as her reputations builds Maggie’s fortune takes a turn for the worst as both her and Frankie are thrown into turmoil.

A compassionate tale that promises to keep you engaged from start to finish, this movie, despite it’s unfortunate ending, provides a real insight into the harsh realities of the world of boxing.

Boys Don’t Cry

Based on a true story, Boys Don’t Cry delicately attempts to identify one boys struggle to find his identity. Hilary Swank, who plays a trans gender character, was carefully selected to depict the tale of Brandon Teena, an American teen who’s gender struggles come under attack.

As Brandon tries to deal with his feeling, experiment with relationships and interact with his peers he faces violence and discrimination that unfortunately mimics the lives of our young teens today.

All goes well for Brandon, who was actually born a female by the name of Teena Brandon, until his best friend unveils his secret. His life is quickly throw into a world wind of violence, brutality and hatred as the other boys struggle to accept his sexuality.

The story, a real life, heart felt narrative directed by Kimberly Peirce received much accredited acclaim in 1999 when it was first released. Still very much a closed subject back in 1999, this story line, despite it’s budget restraints, managed to portray the tragic consequences that one might suffer when faced with such struggles.

Breaking down the barriers in the movie industry, Peirce made a bold courageous move covering this story line. The horrific murder of Brandon Teena was broadcast around the world and thus posed a sensitive topic. But Peirce managed to bring this sensitive topic to light and uncover the misconceptions surrounding the transgender community.

Heartbreaking yet raw, this story uncovers the transphobic view of society and the emotional brutality that the LGBT Community often face.

Despite various critics opinions over the nature of the role played by Swank, this movie paved the way for sexuality expression in modern day film.

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