Friday, February 29, 2008

On Screen: The Underbelly of My Hometown

Long before my DVD viewing last week of 'Gone Baby Gone,' I had listened to the foreign-language audiobook - Swedish, if you must know. Since I think I understood what was happening from only 3/4 of the text, the film was a real treat, giving my mind's images flesh and blood and filling in the gaps. It's a police procedural that's mostly convincing and wanders into some tricky moral territory..

The 5 Parameters!

1. Four Words That Encapsule: 'Mystery-cum-Moral Dilemma'

2. Haikus (5/7/5):

a. 'Boston's seamy side;
child plucked from its vile bowels;
to who knows what fate...'

b. 'Cute gumshoe couple
seeking bimbo's missing child;
if they only knew....

3. Oblique Commentary: a) Casey Affleck is both talented and easy on the eye - his thick Boston accent is very convincing. While listening to the book, I had pictured an older actor, late 30s or early 40s. This film was the directorial debut of Casey's big brother, Ben Affleck, and he appears to direct better than he acts (or writes). b) 'Gone' was actually the fourth book in Lehane's series about South Boston detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro (Affleck and dark-haired Michelle Monaghan, pictured left and below). There's great back story that is, of course, missing from the film. c) Amy Ryan (left, the blonde) well-deserved her Oscar nomination as the missing child's neglectful, ne'er-do-well single mother.

4. Insight: Like other Dennis Lehane books, including Mystic River, 'Gone' is very evocative of its Boston's vast lower-rent regions. In this case, the action is mostly in Dorchester, where my Dad grew up. Most visitors never go near these places, as they are far away from Boston's historic center and charming upscale neighborhoods. These areas have a very particular language and vibe, which Boston-bred Lehane captures very well. This local flavor has been captured well by directors adapting Lehane (Clint Eastwood for 'Mystic River' and Affleck here), as well as Scorsese's 'The Departed' and Gus Van Sandt's 'Good Will Hunting,' the latter script penned by Affleck with Matt Damon.

5. Link: Metacritic Reviews Summary - It got a 72, based on 33 reviews - between B- and B; I agree. Not bad for Ben Affleck's first time behind the lens...

and here's the 'Gone Baby Gone' trailer:

Cartoons du Jour:

this entry's permalink
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?