Overlooked Film of the Week- #32
Gone Baby Gone
By now, everybody knows how good Ben Affleck is as a director. By now, we know that his career on a high unlike anything he's ever experienced. By now, we all know that Affleck deserved the Best Director Oscar nod last year, but we are glad he won Best Picture. In 2007, Ben Affleck started his movie-making career with a film that blew my mind completely. A movie that felt like it was made by a veteran filmmaker instead of a actor-turned-director. A movie that actually lives up to its twist ending and its tense build-up. That movie is "Gone Baby Gone," a movie that will make you think, a movie that will have you discuss the ending and the choices the characters made during that ending. Its a movie with a lot on its mind, and its a movie that provokes its audience to think.
The film grabs your attention right away with a scary situation. Children being kidnapped is a thought I think would be scary for all parents, I don't have children so I can't even begin to say that I am on a parent's level, but I can only imagine it is scary. The movie successfully creates a world that feels real, I felt that I was a resident of South Boston, effected by a little girls sudden abduction. Every reaction, every set, everything feels real. The actors who populate this South Boston look like regular people, not actors. I love the sudden realism of the entire production.
It also helps that Affleck hired some of the best actors in the business to play his lead roles. Ben's brother, Casey Affleck, has never been this good before. I think its even safe to say that Casey may have been in his older brother's shadow for quite a while. However, in this movie all of Casey's strengths are on great display. It really is the highlight of his career. Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris are both amazing as usual as two cops hard on the trail to find the kidnappers. I had never heard of Amy Ryan before "Gone Baby Gone," but I am sure she is an actress to look for. Ryan plays the mother of the kidnapped girl, and Ryan's character isn't a very good mom. She is not shy about her drug habbit, she's openly admits she has made many mistakes. When it gets down to it, its her daughter whose been kidnapped and she can't cope with it. Ryan makes us feel all of these emotions equally and eloquently.
I know I said at the beginning of this review that this movie makes you think. I am sure many of you are shying away from this movie, because there is a large percentage of people who don't like to think during movies. I totally get that, we go to movies to be entertained, not to think. However, I think "Gone Baby Gone" isn't a hard film to follow. It doesn't make you think about the chronological order of events, but how good of a person you are. It makes you think about how YOU would handle the events of the movie, what YOU would do if you were in Casey Affleck's shoes. Its a movie that will spark lots of conversation. Its a pretty big accomplishment for a first time director.
"Gone Baby Gone" raised the bar so high that I didn't think Affleck could get that high again. But he has proven over the years that he was born to be behind the camera, and not necessarily in front of it. "Gone Baby Gone" is where it all began, a very important building block.