Monday, July 16, 2012
Best Actress 2004: Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
Hilary Swank received her 2nd Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby, which also took home Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor.
I think Swank won the award because Million Dollar Baby was the B.P frontrnner and the character is a sympathetic one who is easy to root for. I also think the other nominees all had obstacles that got in the way of them winning. At first, it was Swank Vs. Benning, but the latter's film was a commercial and critical flop and Benning's work isn't material voters would honor. Staunton was her biggest competition, but her momentum came to late to take the prize. The other nominees weren't contenders.
Anyway, Swank's win has to be one of the most hated, but I honestly don't find her that bad here.In the beginning, Swank's eagerness is actually well played and it seems that Swank may be pulling in a strong performance. I also really love the moment where she stands up to Clint Eastwood's character, telling him that he shouldn't say he only he looks at her out of pity.
But unfortuantely, once Eastwood begins to train her, the role becomes very one-dimensional. Maggie is simply a trailer trash girl with a dream, and Swank doesn't go any deeper then that. It's not really her fault, because this is how the character is written, but I don't think Swank found depth in the part. But that being said, her character has some great moments throughout . When they go to see her mother, Swank plays her dissapoint very well and when she tells Frankie that he's the only one she's got, she's perfect. Her later scenes when she's in the condition that she is, she has some powerful moments, but the nature of the character gets in her way again with others.
My overall thoughts are that Swank does the best she can, but she's stuck in a part that keeps her from being great. Still,not as bad as people think she is. She gets