Monday, October 22, 2007

Movie Review -- Gone Baby Gone

"Gone Baby Gone" is the news story that makes you ask, "Why do I watch the news?" It's the 60 Minutes feature on sex tourism. It's the home invasion on a sunny, weekday afternoon. It's the store owner who kills two intruders after enduring 20 robberies in the previous 6 months. "Gone Baby Gone" shows you the things you didn't want to see, asks you the questions you didn't want to be asked, and forces you to reconsider your basic understanding of right and wrong.

What can you say about the cast and crew for this film? In my opinion, this movie should capture Best Director, Best Lead Actor, and Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris) without blinking. Whether or not the winds in Hollywood will blow that way, who knows. Regardless, if you see this movie, you'll see a promising new director, an up and coming actor at the top of his game, and a seasoned veteran delivering another stunning performance.

Directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck, "Gone Baby Gone" is the story of the kidnapping of a 4 year old girl, her family, the police, and the private investigators hired to find her. Casey Affleck plays Patrick Kenzie, a PI with connections in the neighborhood where the abduction took place. He and his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) are hired by the kidnapped girl's Aunt to help in the investigation. From there, the movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride following the search for the little girl.

With enough f-words to make Ozzy blush, it was hard not to count each expletive in expectation of the movie setting a new record. Whether I adjusted to the pace or it slowed down, I don't know, but I became so engrossed in the movie and its characters that I soon forgot about the cursing altogether. Had I left like the man in front of me, I would have missed out on an interesting experience.

Interesting experience...that's about the best way I can sum up "Gone Baby Gone". During the movie, I felt uncomfortable, angry, sad, disgusted, and confused. I can only think of one movie I've seen that had a similar impact, "Million Dollar Baby". Though unrelated in terms of plot, both movies leave you wishing a moral compass was more than just a clever literary device.



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