Friday, February 04, 2005

I blew most of my blogging time this week on a rant about a movie.

One of the films nominated for the Oscar for Best Film this year is Million Dollar Baby. I reviewed it very briefly in the movie review blog I keep with my friend Linda. I thought it might be the best film I'd ever seen, but it was a short review, because most of what makes it so good involves a plot twist that should not be revealed in a review.

This morning, in, I read an article about the growing controversy about the morality of Million Dollar Baby. I was amazed, because I thought one of the things that recommended the movie was that it was a very moral film, not a gooey postcard, but a gritty, tragic movie about life and choices.

So I wrote my rant and labeled it as a spoiler. I'm still left with a question, though:

If we can't even discuss sin, how can we avoid it? My impression is that the critics wouldn't have been happy unless this film turned out to be a gooey postcard, implying that ultimately if we make the right choices, everyone will live happily ever after.

I have news for those critics: doing the right thing and living happily ever after are not always in a simple cause-and-effect relationship. Sometimes there are no happy choices, just the better and the worse ones. And sometimes, in real life, it is nearly impossible to see which is the better and which is the worse, which is when those of us lucky enough to have an ethical tradition to fall back on have to go to that tradition, and go to any other source of revelation we have, to get the best answer we can get. And even then we may very well not like it.

Phew. It's a beautiful day, and I'm indoors reading Rosenzweig and ranting about sin and movies. I think I'll take a walk.

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