But the gutter is going to be there. Who is going to address the suffering of the people in the gutter, while artists are getting all starry-eyed about our “noblest qualities”? Do you want a Divine Comedy with no Inferno? Do you want your Michelangelo to be all David and no Last Judgment?
Dante and Michelangelo were not glorifying or giving their stamp of approval to the sin the was punished by God’s justice in the Inferno or The Last Judgement.
The film “Million Dollar Baby” may be a work of art because it is a film, but most meaningful artwork has a message that it is trying to convey to its audience.
“Million Dollar Baby,” took millions of dollars in bucks to produce; usually when one is spending millions of bucks, they are doing so for a purpose.
The purpose of this film (which I saw some of), it seemed to me, (ok, I didn’t really watch it all, and I wouldn’t spend good money to rent this and watch it), was to evoke sympathy for Frankie and his decision to end Maggie’s life, even though she was being kept alive on an artificial respirator, and even though it conflicted (at least according to the film’s theology, which, as I mentioned above, is, as far as I know, not the actual Catholic teaching on the subject) with the teaching of the Catholic Church, and the moral advice of his parish priest.
More generally, I think the movie was trying to show, through Frankie’s and Maggie’s example, that people who commit acts of euthanasia or who are incapacitated and want to do end their lives, do so with the best of human intentions.
“Million Dollar Baby” does a lot that’s wrong; it doesn’t show the Truth about this moral issue; it depicts a devout Catholic man who goes to Mass everyday blatantly rejecting his Church’s teaching, going against the moral advice of his Priest; it doesn’t get the Catholic Church’s teaching on this moral issue correct (I’ll have to look it up sometime); the Catholic Church, despite the impression of the movie, in certain circumstances, and to my not so expert knowledge (so don’t act on this advice), does allow its members to end their lives if the medical treatment that is used to prolong the life involves some sort of artificial, and not natural, means (like an artificial respirator, for example).
Frankie’s ignoring of his Priest’s and the Church’s moral advice is scandalous; the creation of sympathy for murdering the weak, infirm, and terminally sick, without seriously giving an in depth discussion of the issue, is scandalous
Bad shows, whether on the stage or the screen corrupt more subtly than immoral conversation, because what one sees leaves a stronger impression. Moreover, bad shows represent evil in attractive garb.
(My Catholic Faith: A Manual of Religion, Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow, S.T.D.,1958)
This movie, without having discussed the moral issue, will cause a lot of confusion in peoples’ minds as to what they should do in a similar situation; and seeing the actor Clint Eastwood, the glamorous Hollywood star, disregarding his Spiritual Director and end Maggie’s life, they may be more inclined to follow his example than the teaching of Christ in their own lives.
I base this conclusion on common sense and as a reasonable person; like any work of art, you have to read between the lines, in order to understand the point the artist is trying to make, even in a bad work of art. Art and films are not science.
No one here has said the Catholicism should be the state religion and that all contrary opinions should be banned (some one suggested the film shouldn’t in good taste have been made, but they didn’t say the producers shouldn’t legally be able to make the film).
We’re just criticizing the film from a Catholic Christian perspective, grounded on Catholic Truth.
It is downright foolish to criticize a secular organization for giving an award (the Oscar) based on artistic quality to a movie with which you disagree on religious grounds. This is just another form of political correctness.
If we want to criticize the Academy Awards that’s is our freedom to do so. If we want to express our opinion to an important cultural organization that is the lynchpin of the film industry , especially with a film that depicts in a positive manner a member of the Catholic Church disobeying the moral teaching of his Church on an important moral issue of our time, I don’t see why that is “downright foolish” or a form of “political correctness” (whatever that means; some words someone jumbled together).
The people who made this movie have the right to make it and can spend their money the way they please; but the movie undermines the moral authority and true teaching of the Catholic Church by its depiction of Frankie and Maggie; and that needs to be pointed out; and that is why this film is offensive to many Catholics.