This is an archive of the old Stones Cry Out site. For the current site, click here.

« WalMartha | Main | All but Won? »

February 27, 2005

Million Dollar Controversy

I mentioned the other day that I was wanting to see Million Dollar Baby sometime before the Oscars. I haven't had the chance yet, but I might try this afternoon. On its face, it looks like a well-made movie. Beyond that, of course, is the controversy surrounding its ending.

Do not read any further if you don't want to know the movie's ending.

Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, I've already had the movie's ending ruined for me. Rush and Michael Medved both seem to take the opinion that the script's utilization of a very controversial and (in my mind) immoral medical procedure is a de-facto endorsement of such an act.

Contrast that with Jeffrey Overstreet's review in Christianity Today. Though I've yet to see the movie, I find Overstreet's review to be very fair. Perhaps too much so. For a different opinion, examine this brief analysis from Mike Potemra at The Corner. I can appreciate both reviews, and their final conclusions, because both of these men are critics. They are - unlike Limbaugh - men who spend much of the their time examining art for its flaws and its praise-worthy attributes.

I was also bothered by Al Mohler's "review" of the film. Mohler's piece isn't so much of a review as it is an analysis of the controversy. I certainly don't endorse the actions taken by the film's characters at the end of the movie. Maybe Clint Eastwood does, but simply showing an action in a movie is not in itself endorsement or propaganda. Mohler's article, however, takes the movie as an opportunity to rail against the procedure. This is reasonable and I agree with his premise concerning the procedure. Yet Mohler takes a highly uncritical and almost shallow view of art. Shall we denouce every work of art that utilizes actions and procedures that by any stanrdard of Judeo-Christian morality are wrong? Based on Overstreet and Potemra's reviews, I fully expect to appreciate the artistry of the movie and yet be disturbed by its moral conclusions. However, I reject any notion that this is an example of Hollywood tossing an agenda down our collective throats or that Eastwood is attempting to emerge as an advocate for the procedure that the movie protrays. He may yet do so, and should he do that, I shall be sorely disappointed. But until then (and until I've seen them film), I find it unfair to treat this an example of all that is wrong with Hollywood.

I hope to have more on this point after viewing the movie. Right now I'm simply trying to wade through the loud noise being blasted from every angle.

Note: For about twenty minutes there was a line in the above paragraphs that in retrospect was unnecessary. I have since edited the post.

Posted by Matt at February 27, 2005 12:20 PM

Trackback Pings


Yet another reason why you shouldn't listen to Rush Limbaugh. ;-)

I thought it was an amazing movie. Intense.

Posted by: Ray Grieselhuber at February 27, 2005 07:01 PM

You know, I agree with Rush four days out of a workweek five, but he really annoys me on this sort of thing. He was unapologetic in ruining the ending. I seem to remember him going out of his way a few years ago to not ruin the Master's for some folks on the West Coast. Wish he'd done the same for movie buffs. Or did he spill the results of the golf tournament? I can't remember. Either way it wasn't cool.

Posted by: Matt at February 27, 2005 07:33 PM

I realize that with a group blog the right hand and the left may not always know what each is doing, but this post stands in prim contrast to another one that a few links later.
I refer you to my comment on Rick's post about Howard Dean.

Posted by: John Ballard at February 28, 2005 12:20 PM

While this may not be an example of Hollywood focing an agenda down our throats it is another example of Hollywood presenting life without God as normal. Without an offer of hope somewhere in the movie as a counterpoint the movie is simply another presentation of life as a hopeless and random enterprise with no ultimate purpose. Rather than promoting abundant life it assits the adversary in promoting a steal, kill and destroy mentality.

Posted by: Mike Beckner at April 20, 2005 03:08 AM