Album: Million Dollar Baby: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Million Dollar Baby: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist: Clint Eastwood
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Label: Varese Sarabande

Clint Eastwood’s gritty boxing drama was the big winner at the 2005 Academy Awards, garnering Oscars for Best Film, Best Director (Eastwood), Best Actress (Hillary Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman). As it did for 2003’s Mystic River, Eastwood’s life-long love of music and budding confidence as a composer has led him again to score the film himself. Anchored by elegiac figures for solo acoustic guitar and piano, it often shares River’s spacious, subtle introspection. But it’s also occasionally seasoned with welcome dollops of jazz and…

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Clint Eastwood’s gritty boxing drama was the big winner at the 2005 Academy Awards, garnering Oscars for Best Film, Best Director (Eastwood), Best Actress (Hillary Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman). As it did for 2003’s Mystic River, Eastwood’s life-long love of music and budding confidence as a composer has led him again to score the film himself. Anchored by elegiac figures for solo acoustic guitar and piano, it often shares River’s spacious, subtle introspection. But it’s also occasionally seasoned with welcome dollops of jazz and blues, the byproduct of a longstanding love affair with American roots music that also yielded his Charlie Parker biopic Bird and the insightful, Eastwood-produced Thelonius Monk documentary, Straight No Chaser. If its haunting, gently yearning string arrangements lack the bombast and overwrought melodicism that fuel so many Hollywood vehicles, Eastwood’s musical sensibility here echoes his contemporary evolution as an actor and director: Surprisingly modern, with an emotionally tender, less-as-more ethos that’s light years removed from his action film roots. —Jerry McCulley

Related Works

Film:Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood

I don’t train girls”, trainer Frankie Dunn growls. But something’s different about the spirited boxing hopeful who shows up daily at Dunn’s gym. All she wants is a fighting chance. Clint Eastwood plays Dunn and directs, produces and composes music for this acclaimed, multi-award-winning tale of heart, hope and family. Hilary Swank plays resilient Maggie, determined not to abandon her one dream. And Morgan Freeman is Scrap, gym caretaker and counterpoint to Dunn’s crustiness. Grab your dreams and come out swinging.

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