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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Vegetarian class, vegetarian Swank

Million Dollar Baby may have emerged as this season's start-up pic pick for "Most Unlikely to Succeed" but it has class in more ways than weight, actress Hilary Swank gained 19 pounds for the role... and, she's a vegetarian.

Fight flicks are always a shoo-in but, with a cast that includes heavy weights the like of Morgan Freeman and Director Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby recalls Brando's "I could'a been a contender" and James Earl Jones' "The Great White Hope."

Less a movie about fight than flight this story tells the woman-for-all-seasons' tale of "Maggie" - Hilary Swank - and her last ditch bid for personhood; a final release from the indignity and dissolution of poverty. The twist is that this time redemption relies on an "unforgiven" professional loser - Eastwood - as trainer Frankie Dunn who has the magic but no longer the faith and denies both.

Swank's prepossessing portrayal of Baby has roots in the character which first won her acclaim as Teena in "Boys Don't Cry." Gladly, we'll look forward to much more from this talented actor.