Saturday, March 12, 2005

"Million Dollar" review

Ruth, a quadriplegic, and Meredith, her personal aide, head off to see the controversial hit movie "Million Dollar Baby."

For the two of us, going to a movie requires planning. It's hard to be spontaneous when you're in a wheelchair, or trudging along beside one. But nothing was going to keep us from judging Clint Eastwood's controversial new movie for ourselves.

Their recounting of their experience is warm and amusing, but with (obviously) very painful and personal insights into the issues that surround the film. Here are two spirited ladies not afraid to tell you that they both declared the film "able-ist crap." (And if you haven't seen it, and wish to remain spoiler-free, you might want to skip this entry.)

Meredith: We go on about Million Dollar Baby for days and that's when I realize that for all its problems (e.g., the musical score is puerile), I've seen an important movie during this year's Lent. I don't want people to boycott this film. I want them to see it even though -- and perhaps because -- they know the ending. And then, I want them to get angry, not at God, but about flaws in the structural apparatus of faith (i.e., religion) that would make assisted suicide seem an appropriate response instead of becoming a living witness to suffering. I want viewers to wonder why the character of Maggie Fitzgerald has the determination to become a prize fighter but not enough spiritual strength to manage life as a quadriplegic. I especially want Christians to remember that throughout our history, the Spirit has lived large and worked well within broken bodies; something to ponder as we come to the Cross during this holy season.

Ruth: It took nearly a decade for me to arrive at a place of acceptance. I've chosen life, believing that it's not my place to decide to die because life is too difficult, inconvenient, or no longer to my liking. Some may feel the choice to commit suicide is a form of ultimate freedom. What I know is that by surrendering my option to play God, I've lived long enough to learn that a life of dignity, usefulness, and hope is possible for a quadriplegic. If only the character in Million Dollar Baby could've stayed in the ring of life long enough to discover this for herself.

Go here for the whole article.

(Hat tip: The Dawn Patrol)


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Kerry said...

Drew, I'd have trackbacked to you. Thanks for the post, I read the whole thing and posted my thoughts at Smoothing Plane, hat tip to Darn Floor.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Drew said...

Thanks. I really thought that this critical look at the movie that carried a lot more weight that most, for obvious reasons.


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