Not sure that I’m that hardcore yet of a movie buff to actually have a favorite director.
I will cheat for today, however, and use this space to mention a director that has surprised me the most - Ben Affleck.
I’ve been quite impressed by the fact that he’s exceeded my expectations as a director. As I mentioned on Day 2, I was really surprised by his directorial work on The Town, which lead me to watch Gone Baby Gone, which was equally as impressive. I’m looking forward to more of his work as a director with his latest film, Argo!
Yeah I saw Gone Baby Gone, I LOVED it! I read your review, I really loved that scene between Ed Harris and Casey Affleck as well. After I saw the film I would always quote that "you've gotta pick a side" speech Harris gave. I was sad that Casey Affleck didn't get any Oscar love for GBG, but I thought his performance in The Assassination of Jesse James was much more worthy and thankfully he got an Oscar nom for that one. Affleck has a new film called Argo coming out this year, excited for that!
I totally agree with you - I was surprised/disappointed to hear that Gone Baby Gone (like The Town) didn’t get a lot of recognition! :(
As for The Assassination of Jesse James, I haven’t seen it =\ Perhaps I should add it to my ever growing list of movies to watch.
Heard about Argo! I’m looking forward to seeing what Ben Affleck does with that one too! :)
Just read your review for The Town and I agree that it was a damn shame that the only nomination it received was for Best Supporting Actor. I LOL'd at your "Ben Affleck can write!?" comment because didn't he win an Oscar for co-writing Good Willing Hunting? Haha, but anyways yeah Affleck's had a real career resurgence ever since he directed the fantastic Gone Baby Gone (have you seen that one?).
It IS a shame, isn’t it?! It really deserved a lot more recognition than it got.
Haha… well yes, Affleck did win an Oscar with Matt Damon for writing ‘Good Will Hunting – but half of my sarcasm was probably a reference to the rumors/speculation as to whether Affleck wrote much or whether either wrote any of it at all. The other half of my sarcasm is due to the fact that I pretty much stopped taking Affleck seriously after ‘Bennifer’ and Gigli. Although you’re right and I have to admit, he has exceeded my expectations lately with The Town and Gone Baby Gone – yes! I have seen it and I LOVED it. If you’re so inclined, you may read my review here.
Anywayyy, thanks again for reading my blog and for the comments - and for The Bourne Legacy trailer! :D
Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)
I recently got a chance to cross off one of the movies on my must-see list: Gone Baby Gone. Thanks to lukesfilmblog for the friendly suggestion and for putting this movie on my radar :)
This film follows the story of the disappearance of Amanda McCready. Shortly after hearing about this incident through the news, Patrick Kensie (Casey Affleck) and his partner and girlfriend Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) get pulled into the investigation by Amanda’s aunt Beatrice and uncle Lionel (LOST’s man in black, Titus Welliver), who is desperate to enlist all the help they can get in finding the little girl. Patrick and Angie initially experience a little friction in trying to coordinate efforts with the police detectives on this case, but soon they go after the obvious suspects: Amanda’s mother Helene’s (Amy Ryan) boyfriend Ray, and a drug Lord with whom Helene was involved with, Cheese (the Haitian cabbie from Crank, Edi Gathegi!). However, after the leads amounting to nothing and a confrontation gone wrong, Amanda’s body is still never found. As a result, Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), who was in charge of the investigation, takes the blame and goes into an early retirement. Two months later, a boy is abducted by a known child molester, whom Patrick is lead to through a street contact. Because this is a possible lead, Patrick and the two detectives jump back into the case. This incident ends up leading Patrick to the realization that the stories between the two detectives, his contact, and uncle Lionel all never match up. Could it be possible that one of them is responsible for Amanda’s disappearance?
As I mentioned before, I was never a big fan of Ben Affleck’s. However, I reluctantly watched The Town earlier this year and was surprised by how impressed I was by it. I was then told that if I liked The Town, I’d also like Gone Baby Gone, whose screenplay was cowritten and directed by Ben himself. Hmm, where to start?
I thought that the acting in this movie was awesome. I was really surprised by the performance of Amy Ryan. I’d previously only seen her as Michael Scott’s love, Holly on the American version of The Office (LOVE this show). She was nothing at all like the quirky HR rep Holly in this movie, and I almost didn’t even recognize her as Amanda’s distraught, yet trailer trashy, coke addict mother. I found out later that she received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations in this role – both of which were well deserved. I also thought Casey Affeck did a fantastic job as the determined private investigator who is constantly conflicted between justice and what is morally ‘right’. It’s a bit unfortunate that he didn’t receive any nominations for his performance as well. I’d only previously seen him in Ocean’s 11, where he mostly served as the film’s comic relief. So it was nice to see him here in such an emotionally charged role. Here’s hoping that he gets more roles like this in the future.
I also found the way in which the story was presented quite interesting. It was essentially broken down into three main acts. The beginning of the first act, gives the audience the introduction to Patrick and starts out with his narration. The end of this act also concludes with his narration as well. Because of this, it gave me the false sense that this was the end of the story, since it almost seems like a bookend. At this point, I remember thinking, “Wow, was that the end? Um, I guess that was okay.” But soon afterward, the second act begins starting with the abduction of the little boy, and the action and little plot twists keep you on your toes all the way up to the third act which reveals the story’s biggest twist. I love that the suspense just kept building as the scenes went on because it kept me so engrossed in the story and on the edge of my seat right up to the end. The movie does start out a little slow, but trust me - the payoff is worth it. And there are a few scenes in the movie that are not for the faint of heart.
So what was my favorite part of the movie? Probably the scene immediately after he and one of the investigators, Detective Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) leave the child molester’s house, where they are talking and sharing a drink. Casey Affleck’s character is verbalizing the inner struggle he has between what he does for his job, and whether it is morally okay or not. I love the emotion by Ed Harris in this scene, and how it pretty much describes Patrick’s character in a nutshell.
But overall a well-written and fantastically acted movie. I was not disappointed - so add this one to your must-see list now!
I got a suggestion today for a movie to add to my list: Gone Baby Gone. Duly noted!
It’s another movie co-written and directed by Ben Affleck. I’m hoping that since I liked The Town so much, I’ll enjoy this one too.
I haven’t really seen anything that Casey Affleck has been in other than his supporting roles in Ocean’s 11 and Good Will Hunting. So it’ll be good to see him in a lead role. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a cutie :)