Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 2007. Miramax Films, The Ladd Company. Screenplay by Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Cinematography by John Toll. Produced by Sean Bailey, Alan Ladd Jr., Danton Rissner. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams. Production Design by Sharon Seymour. Costume Design by Alix Friedberg. Film Editing by William Goldenberg.
This adaptation of the novel by Denis Lahane (Mystic River, how much fun is this guy to be around) is a sharply acted and directed mystery-thriller that has as many twists in morality as it does in its tightscrew plotting. Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan play an unproven private detective team who have a much bigger case than they’re used to fall into their laps: the recent abduction of a little girl from a working class neighbourhood in Boston has prompted the child’s uncle and aunt (Amy Madigan) to ask the couple to do some work beyond the police investigation. Our hero may not be a man in blue, but he does know enough low-lives in his little town to score some underground information that the cops won’t get. The investigation goes into some of the deepest recesses of not only Boston’s criminal underworld, but of the human condition as well (ooh, brainy I know). The Afflecks, one as star and the other as director/co-writer, dispense with any desire to prove anything to their audience and instead focus on telling a story right. The film has moments of white knuckle intensity of the Silence Of the Lambs variety.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Amy Ryan)
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Amy Ryan)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Amy Ryan)