Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

DAN - Gone Baby Gone comes as the directorial debut of actor Ben Affleck. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, the film follows a private investigator and his girlfriend when they are hired to find Amanda, a little girl who was recently abducted. Time is of the essence and the odds are against them as the pair searches through the underbelly of Boston.

The quality of Ben Affleck’s acting may be debatable, but I was intrigued by the thought of him as a director. He’d proven his writing chops in Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote with Matt Damon, but he hadn’t written anything of note since then. Though it may not be entirely revolutionary, Gone Baby Gone is a good film.

The film stars Affleck’s younger brother, Casey, who delivers a strong performance. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on his career in the coming years.

The film’s score is subtle, yet effective. I was excited when I saw Harry Gregson-Williams’ name in the opening titles; he has composed some strong soundtracks in the past, and this is no exception.

The plot features several thrilling moments and unexpected twists. They work for the most part, though some might be perceived as a little too conventional. There is a particularly memorable scene near the end of the film that begs the question: must we obey the law if we are morally compelled to do otherwise? The arguments are convincing, and I found myself debating the alternatives in my mind for the rest of the night.

Gone Baby Gone is a thought provoking film akin to Mystic River, which was based on a book by the same author. If you like that film or are in the mood for a good mystery, check this one out.


STEVE - Ben Affleck’s directorial debut is an excellent example of superb execution. The actor and Academy Award winning writer pens another great script along with new screenwriting partner Aaron Stockard and creates a haunting and very real portrait of modern day life in the movie Gone Baby Gone.

Baby brother Casey Affleck stars for older brother as the tough P.I. Patrick Kenzie. Kenzie along with lover and partner Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) are asked to solve a missing child case. Reluctant at first, both agree to the case after meeting mother Helene McCready portrayed by Amy Ryan. The two begin a long a desperate search for the child and along the way uncover secrets and hidden agendas that blend the line between right and wrong, and neither can agree what to do with the knowledge they have learned.

Gone Baby Gone is a powerful film that treads the lines from corruption, to domestic abuse, to good intentions gone wrong. Big brother Affleck drives his film forward giving powerful meanings to his messages through the use of his only weapon at hand… his camera.

As far as performances go, little brother Affleck and the rest of the ensemble consisting of Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, and others perform considerably well under the older Affleck’s direction. Amy Ryan, in particular, turns in one of the best performances I’ve seen this year in a very impressive fashion. I can almost guarantee that you will find no other character to hate more than that of Ryan’s character of Helene McCready this year.

Gone Baby Gone recently arrived on DVD about a week ago and it’s one that you’re going to want to pick up at your local blockbuster. However be warned, this isn’t a feel good movie, but it is a great one.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

You need to post more do good reviews.

Maybe you'll do one for Be Kind Rewind. Just saw it, and it was pretty good. Different then the Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine, but still really good.


(PS -