Gone Baby Gone

Filed under: Movie Review

I know my first blog posts of the week are usually about a particular food and it’s unique health benefits, but…I watched an incredible movie this weekend that I just wanted to share. I haven’t done a movie review in a while so bear with me, this might get long.

I am not gonna lie, I was absolutely blown away. I had heard really good things, and I had wanted to see this for quite some time, but Ben Affleck absolutely shocked me. He has really been coming around the past few years, not that anyone is willing to admit it. Still, this was a HUGE step up for him. I felt like the first hour of the film was good but not great, but the second half is taken to a whole new level, as Affleck really tightens the screws, always leaving you wondering what is really going on. I hope that this isn’t a one-hit wonder for him, if he is actually this good of a director he could become the next Clint Eastwood. That might be a bit much, but seriously, a decent actor (usually) turned brilliant director. That is Clint, and might that be in Ben’s future as well?

Alright, enough about the direction, the acting in this was sublime. Casey Affleck was simply superb, it just seemed effortless. Combine this with his wonderful work in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (for which he was Oscar nominated) and 2007 was a hell of a year for Ben’s little brother. As good as Casey was, the rest of the cast kept pace. Amy Ryan was absolutely mesmerizing as a Southie mom. She nailed the entire role, not just the accent, but the expressions and the nuances. Hence why she was nominated for an Oscar for the role. Morgan Freeman was his usual self, he is just in complete command of his craft. Ed Harris was intense, sly and just perfect for the role. I’m telling you, the ensemble cast was incredible and the acting reflected it.

Much like Mystic River (both based on books by the same author) this movie stays with you long after the credits roll. It is haunting, and it makes you wonder about what choices you would have made had you been in the same situations. The way the story unfolds is fantastic, never revealing its secrets to early, never giving itself away (I hate when directors and screen writers feel the need to spoon-feed me information) and I give full credit to Ben Affleck. Along with directing the film, he co-wrote the script, and again his work was superlative. Even with the dark and gritty plot and backdrop of Dorchester, MA, you don’t walk away feeling depressed, just reflective, and that was Ben’s ultimate achievement.

I went into this movie with high expectations and not only were they met, they were exceeded. I actually didn’t know a ton about the story going in, and I would highly suggest not researching the plot too much, as the story is the driving force behind this tale. Overall I would give this a 92/100. Getting in the A range from me is a very rare feat, so that speaks volumes to how much I truly enjoyed this film. Rent it today.

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Posted on June 9th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre


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