Okay, admit it. When you heard that Oliver Stone was going to make a movie about the events of September 11, 2001, a lot of you rolled your eyes and thought, “Oh, my God, what’s he going to do now?” Was he going to have Richard Nixon rising from the grave to plant explosives in the twin towers? How were the Grassy Knoll gunmen who killed John Kennedy involved? And how did it all tie back to the Vietnam War?
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Million Dollar Baby is a film that has such implicit faith in its characters that it allows them to inhabit an unvarnished reality almost completely free of Hollywood artifice. You never get the sense that you’ve seen these people in another movie, but rather that director Clint Eastwood has simply taken his camera out and pointed it at them, including one guy that looks a lot like the director.
Speaking as some who worked in retail sales for few years out of college, I can certainly vouch for the authenticity of much of what transpires in James Foley’s film of David Mamet’s play Glengarry Glen Ross. The scene in which Alec Baldwin’s character verbally emasculates the sad sack salesmen is reminiscent of any number of sales meetings or visits from the district manager.
Okay, I can’t ever recall being called a “cocksucker” in those sessions (it was often mixed company, after all), but the message was same. Selling is everything. A good salesmen should be able to sell water to a drowning man. Excuses are for losers and low numbers are the way out the door. You might notice that I don’t work in that field any more.