Gone Baby Gone - Preview
Preview by Jack Foley
A FEW years ago everyone was beginning to write off the career of Ben Affleck as a promising might have been. An ill-judged relationship with Jennifer Lopez, followed by the career low of Gigli appeared to have put paid to the potential he’d shown during his early Good Will Hunting days.
But since winning the best actor award at last year’s Venice Film Festival for his performance in Hollywoodland, Affleck seems to be turning heads for all the right reasons again. Hollywoodland went on to garner world-wide acclaim and paved the way for an Affleck revival.
And he’s clearly rising to the challenge. His next project marks his feature film debut as director and is an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Gone Baby Gone. The film centres on two private investigators (played by Ben’s younger brother Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) who search Boston’s seedy underbelly for a missing four-year-old girl.
It co-stars Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris and is already being talked about as one of the films of the year. The Hollywood Reporter, after seeing it, predicted that it will be “remembered as one of the best crime movies of this decade”.
And it could well make a name for Casey Affleck, who towering lead performance comes off the back of solid supporting turns in the Ocean’s Eleven movies and Brad Pitt’s Western The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.
Ben chose to cast Casey because he believed it would offer up more possibilities for his screenplay by making the central character younger than in the novel. It also removed the temptation to appear in it himself.
“‘Frankly, I didn’t think I could do it,’‘ he told Entertainment Weekly. ‘‘It took everything I had to direct this movie, and there are still a lot of things in there that I think, If I could go back, I might shoot that scene differently.’‘
That said, Ben did allow himself some indulgences, including the casting of one of his own personal film heroes – John Ashton, of Beverley Hills Cop fame.
Ashton appears as the police partner of the Ed Harris character and has long been admired by Affleck, even since appearing in one of his all-time favourite movies – namely, Midnight Run.
Editor’s note: The UK release of Gone Baby Gone has now been shelved indefinitely due to current events. Find out why