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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 14, 2005
Forget about those lips, those eyes: What tears you up about Hilary Swank from the start of Million Dollar Baby are those gums, those teeth. As an L.A. waitress from the Ozarks who strives to be a champion boxer, she opens up her face with the jaw-wide smiles and grimaces of a woman who wouldn't think of molding an emotional expression for effect. With homegrown American material, Swank has proved herself a killer actor. She was devastating as the gender-confused "Brandon Teena" in her Oscar-winning performance in Boys Don't Cry, and she brings a similarly remarkable blend of toughness and neediness to her fledgling fighter in Million Dollar Baby.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2011
Morgan Freeman believes that actors are the key figures in movies — the ones who make characters grab audiences by the lapels and invade their dreams. He thinks movies become classics when a star like Gary Cooper in "High Noon" pumps his own lifeblood between the lines until a written role becomes a living symbol, like Cooper's strong, righteous, heartrendingly weary Marshal Will Kane. "Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart — those guys" are his favorite performers, he once said.
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By Lem Satterfield and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF | April 17, 2005
The two fighters had not met, even though Heather Schmitz trained at the Front Range Boxing Academy in Boulder, Colo., 60 miles from Becky Zerlentes' Hard Knocks Gym in Milliken. But they began talking during a weigh-in four days before the Golden Gloves championships scheduled for the following Saturday in Denver and realized how much they had in common. "They shook hands, got to know each other, really hit it off," said Jeanne DePriest, chairman of officials for Colorado Golden Gloves, who witnessed their bonding while handling the weigh-in.
FEATURES
January 26, 2007
WHAT YOU SAY My favorite Clint Eastwood movies are Two Mules for Sister Sara and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Both are packed with action, but are of a more refined style than the "spaghetti" westerns of his early career. The romantic and comedic interplay between Clint and co-star Shirley MacLaine in Two Mules is great. In Josey Wales, Clint plays a more conflicted character than in Two Mules. The viewer can empathetically understand Clint's transformation from simple farmer to aggrieved avenger after the wanton destruction of his home and family by border raiders.
SPORTS
March 1, 2005
On Sunday night, "Million Dollar Baby" joined "Rocky" as the only boxing movies to win Oscars for best picture. Here is how the movies -- and their stars -- stack up. SYLVESTER STALLONE -- "ROCKY" NOMINATIONS: 10 OSCARS: 3 BUDGET: $1 MILLION BOX OFFICE: $225 MILLION PREVIOUS BEST WEEK: "PARTY AT KITTY AND STUDS" HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5-8 , 177 TRAINER: BURGESS MEREDITH, AS MICKEY GOLDMILL OPPONENT: CARL WEATHERS, AS APOLLO CREED ENDING: AIN'T GONNA...
FEATURES
By John Horn and Susan King and John Horn and Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 26, 2005
HOLLYWOOD - The Aviator, an old-fashioned Hollywood epic about Howard Hughes' obsessions, romances and crippling neuroses, captured 11 nominations to top all contenders for next month's 77th annual Academy Awards, including best picture, best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and best director for Martin Scorsese. Tied for the second-most nominations, with seven apiece, were Finding Neverland, a story of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, and Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood's drama about an older boxing coach and his female student.
FEATURES
By KEVIN COWHERD | February 24, 2005
YOU HAVE an Oscar pool going at your place Sunday night? Then scribble in Million Dollar Baby as your mortal lock for best picture. Who cares that when it comes to acting, Clint Eastwood still has the emotional range of an ashtray? Or that co-star Morgan Freeman basically reprises the same role he's played a half-dozen times, that of the (pick one) wise, decent, gentle man who's also a wonderful (pick another one) partner, friend, mentor. The fact is, Hilary Swank is terrific as Maggie Fitzgerald, a poor hillbilly fighter with a heart bigger than the Ozarks, and the storytelling is first-rate.
FEATURES
March 1, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- Diary of a Mad Black Woman got its revenge against mixed critics' reviews by earning $22.7 million and taking first place at the weekend box office. The drama-comedy is based on a script by Tyler Perry from his play of the same name and also features him cross-dressed as a gun-toting grandmother and in two other supporting roles. The film's strong debut pushed Will Smith's romantic comedy Hitch to the second spot with a weekend haul of $21 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
FEATURES
By John Horn and John Horn,Los Angeles Times | December 1, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- --Most screenwriters prefer working in a quiet office. Some seek out coffee shops, while others hole up in hotel rooms. Paul Haggis didn't have the time for any of that - he was typing on a laptop in the passenger seat of a van bounding down Interstate 25 at 70 mph. The creative voice behind the past two best picture winners - he wrote Million Dollar Baby and co-wrote and directed Crash - Haggis also shares screenplay credit on...
FEATURES
By John Horn and John Horn,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 3, 2005
Hollywood might have self-absorbed mothers in its crosshairs (see Tea Leoni's turn in Spanglish, Meryl Streep's master manipulator in The Manchurian Candidate and the greedy, trailer-park mom from Million Dollar Baby). But selfless fathers and father figures are being celebrated, if not canonized, on America's movie screens. As a producer and a studio executive, Richard Gladstein was involved in any number of graphic and sadistic films, including Reservoir Dogs, Hurlyburly and Pulp Fiction.
FEATURES
By John Horn and John Horn,Los Angeles Times | December 1, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- --Most screenwriters prefer working in a quiet office. Some seek out coffee shops, while others hole up in hotel rooms. Paul Haggis didn't have the time for any of that - he was typing on a laptop in the passenger seat of a van bounding down Interstate 25 at 70 mph. The creative voice behind the past two best picture winners - he wrote Million Dollar Baby and co-wrote and directed Crash - Haggis also shares screenplay credit on...
ENTERTAINMENT
August 11, 2005
Top Fives HOT FIVE 1. "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey 2. "Pon de Replay," Rihanna 3. "Don't Cha," The Pussycat Dolls 4. "Lose Control," Missy Elliott 5. "Let Me Hold You," Bow Wow Billboard ALBUMS 1. Now 19, Various Artists 2. The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey 3. TP.3 Reloaded, R. Kelly 4. X&Y, Coldplay 5. Wanted, Bow Wow Billboard CONCERT TOURS 1. Dave Matthews Band 2. Kenny Chesney 3. James Taylor 4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Susan King and Susan King,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 21, 2005
Clint Eastwood has yet to do a commentary track for a DVD of one his movies, a tradition he doesn't break on the three-disc set of his Academy Award-winning best picture, Million Dollar Baby (Warner Home Video, $30). Still, the extras are as low-key and unfussy as Eastwood's haunting pugilist drama. "Born to Fight" offers a compelling look at parallels between the movie and real-life boxer Lucia Rijker, who appears in the film. The documentary also features intelligent interviews with Eastwood, who picked up his second Oscar for best director, and actress and supporting actor winners Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Lem Satterfield and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF | April 17, 2005
The two fighters had not met, even though Heather Schmitz trained at the Front Range Boxing Academy in Boulder, Colo., 60 miles from Becky Zerlentes' Hard Knocks Gym in Milliken. But they began talking during a weigh-in four days before the Golden Gloves championships scheduled for the following Saturday in Denver and realized how much they had in common. "They shook hands, got to know each other, really hit it off," said Jeanne DePriest, chairman of officials for Colorado Golden Gloves, who witnessed their bonding while handling the weigh-in.
FEATURES
By Patrick Goldstein and Patrick Goldstein,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 22, 2005
It's always nice to be an overnight sensation, even if you're bald and old enough to have been inspired to become a fashion photographer after seeing Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up in the 1960s. Just ask Paul Haggis, the Canadian-born writer-director who's so hot right now that he has Steven Spielberg pitching him story ideas and Dustin Hoffman taking him to lunch. What makes the 52-year-old's success so satisfying is that he earned it the hard way. After years of toiling in relative obscurity in TV, where he was beloved by critics but spurned by audiences - the show he considers his greatest achievement, EZ Streets, was canceled the week it debuted - he has suddenly emerged as Hollywood's go-to guy for dark, difficult material.
SPORTS
March 1, 2005
On Sunday night, "Million Dollar Baby" joined "Rocky" as the only boxing movies to win Oscars for best picture. Here is how the movies -- and their stars -- stack up. SYLVESTER STALLONE -- "ROCKY" NOMINATIONS: 10 OSCARS: 3 BUDGET: $1 MILLION BOX OFFICE: $225 MILLION PREVIOUS BEST WEEK: "PARTY AT KITTY AND STUDS" HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 5-8 , 177 TRAINER: BURGESS MEREDITH, AS MICKEY GOLDMILL OPPONENT: CARL WEATHERS, AS APOLLO CREED ENDING: AIN'T GONNA...
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 28, 2005
It was a replay of the 1976 Oscars, when a boxing movie named Rocky, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, beat out Scorsese's Taxi Driver. This year, a boxing film directed by and starring another action icon, Clint Eastwood, beat out Scorsese's The Aviator. The loss left Scorsese at 0 for 5, the same Oscars record as Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman. On a night when the academy promised to pay tribute to the old and new, Million Dollar Baby proved to be the voters' idea of a character-centered, emotional movie.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 26, 2005
At the Oscars next month, an unprecedented contest will unfold. Jamie Foxx, nominated in the best actor category for his role as Ray Charles in Ray, will be up against the highly regarded Don Cheadle from Hotel Rwanda. And for best supporting actor, Foxx, as the righteous cabbie in Collateral, will go head to head with beloved veteran Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby. Their nominations - and those of Anglo-African Sophie Okonedo as best supporting actress for Hotel Rwanda and Colombian Catalina Sandino Moreno as best actress for Maria Full of Grace - offer the first chance for actors of color to sweep the performing categories of the Academy Awards.
FEATURES
March 1, 2005
LOS ANGELES -- Diary of a Mad Black Woman got its revenge against mixed critics' reviews by earning $22.7 million and taking first place at the weekend box office. The drama-comedy is based on a script by Tyler Perry from his play of the same name and also features him cross-dressed as a gun-toting grandmother and in two other supporting roles. The film's strong debut pushed Will Smith's romantic comedy Hitch to the second spot with a weekend haul of $21 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 28, 2005
It was a replay of the 1976 Oscars, when a boxing movie named Rocky, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, beat out Scorsese's Taxi Driver. This year, a boxing film directed by and starring another action icon, Clint Eastwood, beat out Scorsese's The Aviator. The loss left Scorsese at 0 for 5, the same Oscars record as Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Altman. On a night when the academy promised to pay tribute to the old and new, Million Dollar Baby proved to be the voters' idea of a character-centered, emotional movie.
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