There are some actors that some of us would love to see more of and believe it or not Hilary Swank is one of them. In the past she’s made what a lot of people would call stinkers when it comes to movies, but then again that’s all a matter of perspective and who’s doing the judging. If it’s the critics then just think about the fact that it’s their job to be hard on people and point out errors, but if it’s the fans, keep in mind that a lot of fans are insanely fickle and will turn on anyone the moment that popular opinion says to do so. Personally I think Swank is a great actor that has been put in some questionable films at times. It happens to everyone obviously and it’s not the first time an actor has seen their reputation fluctuate wildly because of it. But in truth, with all honesty, Hilary is far more talented, and more versatile, than people seem to think.
Here are some of the best movies from her career.
5. The Reaping
Maybe it came out at the wrong time, but The Reaping was one epic-level story that kind of got relegated to being considered a major flop. It not only starred Swank, but it had Idris Elba in there as well. The two travel to an out of the way little nowhere town where mysterious things have been happening, such as the water turning to blood, frogs falling from the sky, famine, flies, locusts, and all sorts of things that are only found in the old testament. This movie wasn’t that bad, but with a little more development of the characters and a different release date it might have gone a lot further.
4. The Gift
Admittedly her part in this movie wasn’t that big or impressive but what makes it work is that she did fit perfectly into the role that she was given. The beaten, timid little mouse of a woman that she was made into was kind of against type for Swank since in a lot of films she’s a great deal stronger than this, but somehow she made it work and created a character that you felt sorry for but in some ways felt as though you’d rather never see again. She was the pitiful type that you could swear might turn on you when it was in her best interest, or when she was threatened with another beating if she didn’t.
3. Boys Don’t Cry
If any move were to be used to describe some of the biggest fears facing transgender individuals today this would probably be it. After being outed as a transgender Brandon has to relocate and try to pick his life up in order to keep moving forward. Unfortunately when his secret is discovered again those he came to call friends turn on him without pause, refusing to accept his trans status and savaging him before finally killing him. The whole idea of the movie is that Brandon is looking for acceptance and simply can’t find it, a very common fear in today’s world where transgender people are concerned.
This film featured Robin Williams in one of his creepiest roles and Hilary Swank in one of her most sycophantic, which is to say that she was kind of gushing like a schoolgirl meeting her idol, which was the point. In the midst of a murder investigation however she begins to see her idol in new ways that she hadn’t expected and comes to realize that despite his stellar reputation he’s still a human being, and he does make mistakes. When she tries to cover up one of his most recent mistakes however he does manage to redeem himself by telling her not to lose her way, thereby preserving her own reputation even as his is about to be destroyed.
1. Million Dollar Baby
Maggie is the character you pull for since she’s not only a nice and engaging character, she’s someone that refuses to give up and yet smiles and offers every bit of herself to the movie in every possible way that’s needed. Her chemistry with Eastwood and Freeman is such that it’s almost as though they’d been working side by side for years. Plus, the character of Maggie is in some ways kind of downtrodden, but never once does she ever ask for anything or demand anything that she hasn’t earned. Even then she’s patient and willing to stick by Frankie no matter what comes her way, clinging to him in the hopes that he’ll take care of her and do right by her so long as she’s willing to give everything in her power in the ring. Of course when you look at the character’s family you find out very quickly why she would look to Frankie in such a manner.
We need to see Hilary Swank more often, she’s one of the true talents in show business at this time.