Sunday, March 16, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I last posted. It must be the late winter, spring will never come to Chicago, doldrums.

When I think of young, contemporary American filmmakers Ben Affleck is not a name that immediately comes to mind. However, he owns an Oscar for co-writing Good Will Hunting and he directed the terrific, yet hard to watch film Gone Baby Gone. He is someone I have to take seriously as a filmmaker.

Gone Baby Gone is one of those films that when it's over you have a debate about the character's actions. Are the choices Patrick (Casey Affleck, great as a serious lead) makes the right ones? You can argue both sides of it forever and that to me makes a great film.

Gone Baby Gone is based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River, which Clint Eastwood (another often overlooked American filmmaker) made into an excellent film. Lehane's milieu is the dirty, underside of Boston- the Roxburys and Dorchesters, far from Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Copley Square. He creates these morally ambiguous characters, yet fills them with depth and dimension.

It's a excellent film well worth checking out- and I haven't even mentioned Amy Ryan's Oscar nominated performance as the mother whose missing daughter starts the plot in motion.


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