Gone baby gone
So I saw Gone Baby Gone this weekend. I liked it, although I am going to tell you right now that it's not for everyone. It's on the grittier side, a bit like The Departed. It's based on a book by Dennis Lehane (who wrote Mystic River) and Ben Affleck--yes, BEN AFFLECK--co-wrote the screenplay and directed it.
Anyway, this movie made me think several things:
* I cannot believe that five years ago, Ben Affleck was on a yacht, pulling on J.Lo's bikini bottom (not to mention starring with her in GIGLI), and now he has made his directorial debut with a movie that most likely will get at least an Oscar nomination or two. I leaned over to my friend as the movie was starting and said, "I really, really, really hope this is good enough to get nominated for an Oscar, because if Ben Affleck can go from Jenny from the Block back to the Academy Awards, there is hope for us all." And now, I am proud to say ... there is hope for us all. Seriously! Nobody would have guessed five years ago that Ben Affleck would be directing one of the better movies of this year, so yay for him. The movie is not perfect--it gets little off track about 2/3 of the way through--but it is quite good and I bet Ben gets nominated for the writing award, if not the directing award.
* Which leads me to ... I always sort of assumed that Matt Damon was the brains behind Good Will Hunting. (Matt and Ben won an Oscar when they were, like, 25 for writing the screenplay.) I mean, Matt DID go to Harvard. And Ben ... I mean, he starred in Gigli! I'm sorry for not thinking he was the brightest bulb in the box! Now I have to reevaluate all of my judgments and assumptions. Maybe I've been wrong about everything. Like, for example, maybe Britney Spears knows exactly what she is doing and is totally playing all of us. And Paris Hilton is a genius. And Heidi Klum looks bad without makeup. Or ... not.
* He thanks Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in the credits. Which I thought was kind of funny.
* Where has Casey Affleck been all my life? Because hot damn, he is sizzling in this movie, and I swear he was never, EVER that hot before. There's this one scene ... I won't ruin it, just in case, but suffice it to say there is one scene where he is so hot I almost somersaulted down the stairs of the theater and started making out with the movie screen.
* Now, finally something about the actual movie. I've read several stories where they've said it's about, essentially, "Good people who do bad things for the right reasons." It brings up a lot of interesting questions about life. The right thing is not always the best thing, so ... which do you do? The right thing? Or the best thing? And are you wrong if you choose one over the other? I know, it sounds confusing. But so is life sometimes, and it does a very good job of portraying that. I keep thinking about it, and I STILL don't know what they should have done.
Look at that. Ben Affleck, making me think.
(P.S. I'm sorry, this is completely, 100 percent unrelated, but I have to say it: It's late, I have the TV on and The Wedding Date just ended on TNT. Now My Best Friend's Wedding is on. Dermot Mulroney is in both movies. WHO decided that he is sexy? Who? I would have liked to have been consulted on that. He totally comes off as wooden, and I'm sorry, but to be sexy you have to actually have a personality. I don't care how tall or dark-haired or smoldering you try to make yourself, YOU NEED A PERSONALITY! I do like this movie, though. OK. Done.)