I've been told by my good friend and constant traveling companion David Ehrenstein that certain of the sentiments in my recent blog entry, "We wuz robbed," place me in the vanguard of film critics no less esteemed than James Agee and Jean-Luc Godard. It seems that both have gone on record as approving the idea of reviewing a film without ever having seen it. According to Godard: "It's easier." To wit:
In my anti-review "We wuz robbed," I weighed in as to why I had no interest whatsoever in seeing Million Dollar Baby:
1. Because of Swank's big scary teeth.
2. Her laughable West Virginia accent (I should know; that's where I'm from.)
3. The retrograde melodramatic plot (I've seen enough clips on TV to know),
4. AND my total lack of interest in taking in a movie about, as I previously wrote, "women beating the crap out of one another?"
I'm also aware of the flap surrounding the finale of the film wherein (spoiler alert) Swank's badly injured character opts to die rather than face life as a paraplegic.
Now, word gets back to me that there is yet another scene in the film that is perhaps also ripe for a bit of controversy. . .maybe after the euthanasia brouhaha dies (pun UNintended) down.
Apparently Swank's "Maggie Fitzgerald" (still can't get over that hokey '30s Warner Bros. moniker) wants to buy her family a house with some of her boxing income, but the folks are having none of it. You see, if they owned property they'd have to go off welfare, and they're much happier remaining the happy, bottom feeder, hillbilly swill that they are. . .thank you very much. Seems to me that gives away bigtime Eastwood's somewhat soft-pedalled, but neverthesless reactionary politics. I don't whether many film critics have picked up on this, but it seems a salient point, one that I'm writing about herein without---again---ever even having seen MBB. Folks back in West Virginia, not to mention welfare proponents in general, are right touchy about that sort of stuff.
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