Apr 27, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

Gone Baby Gone is a film of classic proportions. Drama in the truest sense, it will have you enthralled, devastated and truly enriched by its broad and beautifully painted canvas. Full of pain and anguish and real life experiences, the characters feel and act as real as any movie I have seen in a very long time. Ben Affleck, after a string of questionable acting choices, has succeeded wildly in his debut directing performance. Affleck co-wrote the script with Aaron Stockard (based on a Dennis Lehane novel) and after some deliberation his choice to direct has proven a wise one. His direction is seamless, skilfully building tension and drama in each scene, pointing to a dramatic finish. The cast is superb, especially so the performance of Casey Affleck, whose character is the moral centre of the film.

Gone Baby Gone is set in modern day Boston. But not the Boston of Back Bay and Beacon Hill. But on the rough edges, in the seedy bars and neighbourhoods. A young girl has been abducted and her mother Helene (Amy Ryan) is surrounded by police and media searching for answers. Helene is a coke addict and is not exactly a role model mother. Her brother Lionel and her sister-in-law Beatrice (Amy Madigan) decide to employ private detectives to enhance the search for young Amanda. Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and his partner Angie (Michelle Monaghan), after some persuasion, decide the take up the task of searching for the missing girl. They have the consent of Police Chief Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), who allows them to join in the investigation headed by detectives Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton). But what ensues is more then just the standard thriller. More then the story of who committed the crime. Although in these two aspects the film does a fine job. But Gone Baby Gone is a film full of real characters with questionable intentions and also honourable motives. It is multi layered and never conventional. Taking many detours and twists as we build to a tension filled climax. It is also a moral tale as the question of caring and raising children is asked many times over. But it never provides easy answers. Instead it offers ideas and insight, which the best dramas do. Not only giving you suspense and a compelling story, but also plenty of food for thought. This film is full of many dark and disturbing characters. From drug addicts to drug dealers. Pedophiles to murderers. But is also full of people with good hearts and intentions. This is never more evident then in the character of Kenzie. Affleck is superb in portraying a man of stoic nature and a quiet inner strength. The rest of the cast are superb as well, especially the always sterling Ed Harris and the eternally serene Morgan Freeman. Gone Baby Gone is a hark back to days when films were full of richly drawn characters and strongly written plot. Full of light and shade and subtle nuances, I recommend this film highly.


  • At April 28, 2008 , Anonymous Bill said...

    I loved this movie. I don't think it got nearly enough acclaim here in the U.S. But it was wonderful.

  • At April 30, 2008 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Yes Bill. I loved it. I was surprised at just how accomplished it is. Casey Affleck is just superb.

  • At May 06, 2008 , Blogger Y said...

    I loved this movie, but couldn't really buy Michelle Monaghan as a PI. Also Casey Affleck was fantastic, but he looks so young in the movie that it's a bit hard to believe he's so well connected. His dialogue is that of an older, more worldly man - and I believe the original character was actually middle-aged also.


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