1. Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s also the best movie that Clint Eastwood has ever directed. Again, similar to Gran Torino, Eastwood uses a darker, grittier setting (this time, the boxing world) to give us a more intimate and emotionally stirring story. Million Dollar Baby may be about boxing on the surface, but what it’s truly about is friendship and family, illustrated through the characters of Eastwood’s Frankie and Hilary Swank’s Maggie. The relationship between the two of them transcends the typical mentor-student bond that we see in so many sports-related films and becomes something even more special, something more familial. The film is almost like a portrait of a father and his daughter meeting for the first time, and Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby‘s Picasso, uses every color of paint and gentle intimate brush strokes to create quite the perfect picture.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions