GONE BABY GONE
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Casey Affleck as PATRICK KENZIE
Michelle Monaghan as ANGIE GENNARO
Morgan Freeman as CAPT. JACK DOYLE
Ed Harris as DET. REMY BRESSANT
John Aston as DET. NICK POOLE
Amy Ryan as HELENE MCCREADY
Amy Madigan as BEA MCCREADY
Directed by: Ben Affleck
BY KEVIN CARR
“Gone Baby Gone” was one of those movies like “We Own the Night,” which came out when the films vying for end-of-the-year awards started to really ramp up for release. Both films were decent enough to stay in my mind, but they didn’t make a strong enough mark to overpower later releases like “Juno” or “No Country for Old Men.”
Well, except for Amy Ryan’s performance, which ended up earning her an Academy Award nomination.
“Gone Baby Gone” tells the story of a private detective named Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), who is hired by a family to search for a missing child. Using his connections in the Boston community, he’s able to go where the police can’t, and soon he starts to unravel the mystery of the missing girl. After some red herrings and dead ends, he starts to solve the mystery behind the mystery.
In many ways, “Gone Baby Gone” was a very impressive film for what you would expect. Ben Affleck, who won an Oscar for co-writing “Good Will Hunting,” takes a stab at directing this film, the screenplay for which he also directed. With this movie, Affleck proved that his “Good Will Hunting” moment wasn’t an aberration, and he also showed that he didn’t need Matt Damon in tow to make a great movie.
Like Affleck’s other script, this one can be very raw at times, and with the original source material coming from the guy who wrote “Mystic River,” you can expect some disturbing subject matter. Affleck also does a fine job directing his brother Casey in the lead role (which was much more deserving of an Oscar nom than lil’ Affleck’s other big role of 2007).
This movie has plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and the actors carry the movie. The atmosphere of the movie gets very heavy and thick, and it could have easily bogged down into a depressing mess. While it comes close to this at times, the people behind the movie (actors, director and crew) help lift it up.
It’s not the best movie of the year, but it was a nice introduction to awards season.
The DVD comes with a nice selection of special features, including an extended ending that enriches the characters for a final moment. There’s also plenty of deleted scenes with commentary as well as a feature commentary with Ben Affleck and co-writer Aaron Stockard. Finally, things wrap up with two featurettes, one about the use of Boston as a character and the other about the casting.