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Friday, 11 February 2005

Million Dollar Baby bruhaha

I read some article in the NY Times about the new Clint Eastwood flick. There's a controversy. The right wing hates the movie. They say it's in favor of assisted suicide and plays racial politics. I haven't seen this movie. the times only revealed that the plot twist involved one of the characters becoming seriously injured and wanting to die. Is it clint eastwood? Is it Morgan Freedman? Or is it Hillary Swank, the plucky young woman who wants to become a professional boxer? Take a guess.

Yeah, you're right. Hollywood wouldn't seriously allow a woman to break gender roles and succeed without having to suffer suffer suffer. And she dies at the end, which is even better. So the anti-assisted suicide people are in an uproar. As are the disability rights advocates. Becoming disabled doesn't have to be a death sentence and really, it's not fair to disabled people to treat disability as if disabled people were better off dead. But where are the angry feminists? Have we gotten so used to women in movies being punished for everything but being a Stepford Wife (the original, dammit) that we've given up saying anything? Seriously, the right wing should love this movie and every other one of the 23719547291541253 movies where a woman who tries to succeed gets hurt. They should love the Austin Powers movie where the woman spy decides that she really just wants to marry a spy instead of being one. They should love Clint's movie Mystic River where the wife of the suspected killer gets to suffer suffer suffer at the end for not keeping her mouth shut.

The best part of the Times story is where Clint tries to defend the movie by saying the bad guys in it are welfare cheats. See, I hate the poor! I'm on the right side!

I haven't seen the movie. I don't feel like I have to. I went to the mall today and spent some time standing with Aaron inside a Lane Bryant. Afterwards we talked about enforced femininity and how it is codified, promulgated and largely adhered to. The plucky-hero-succeeding movies are trite and tiresome too. What I like is more like Star Trek. All the positions are inhabited by all sorts of folks. Aliens. Women. Minorities. Anybody can be anything in Star Trek (as long as they're straight, *sigh*). And then there are just images of different people who have already succeeded and what happens to them afterwards.

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2 comments:

uncola said...

Oh. Is that why critics like movies directed by Clint Eastwood? Because I haven't really cared for them.

The previews for the movie mostly reminded me of that movie Girlfight, which, from what I remember, doesn't do that crap.

Anonymous said...

You know Celeste, when I heard the spoilers (I havent' seen the film yet either) I was thinking the same thing, a woman is a hero and they have to kill her off.

-Carol