I must say that despite the fact that Ben Affleck ain't exactly a good actor, that judging from this material he certainly has a promising career ahead of him as a director. Gone Baby Gone is the first masterpiece movie that I have seen since the end of July with The Dark Knight. I was thoroughly impressed by this movie. I am glad that the movie was released over here after the disappearance of Madeline McCann and not during as previously scheduled. If it was released then, it would certainly have faced a massive amount of controversy, what with the cases being very similar, with even a great resemblance between the fictional and real case being astonishingly coincidental. The premise is that Amanda McCready (yes I know, ha ha, ba boom boom) has disappeared and Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro hired to find the missing child. At the same time, two detectives and the Chief of Police are running their own investigation into the disappearance. This is essentially a movie that belongs to the brothers Affleck, despite its other obvious strengths. Ben Affleck directs a masterpiece which any veteran director could be extremely proud of, taking the auteur role of also producing and adapting the film into a script based on the original novel. He does a great job of not losing track of what his focus should be in the film, keeping great restrain in letting the story slowly unfold, without letting other distractions getting in the way of the story. For example, there is a scene in the film that could have easily turned itself into a ridiculous shootout, but instead he restrains himself and builds great tension in a scene that is totally believable. Also a revelation in the film is Casey Affleck, being directed by older brother Ben. Affleck, after his superb supporting role alongside Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford, steps up to the podium of lead actor and is able to credibly hold his own as the lead against veterans such as Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris. This is a performance by Affleck which should have been Oscar bait. Also, it is ironic that Michelle Monaghan starred in Eagle Eye, perhaps the worst film of the year, yet gives a compelling performance as Angie in this film. Also, the rest of the supporting cast as a whole, including the afformented, each give great performances. One of the great achievements of this film is the morality tale that it serves as. This is a masterful morality tale, for in its climax we are given perhaps one of the strongest examples of a film that makes us question ourselves in recent years. Coupling this with the twisting and turning of the plot itself, and the grim depiction of Boston, give us one of the darkest films of the year. And that's saying something, considering the current rate of dark films. This is a great neo-noir thriller, while at the same time having the terror of Gothic horror and its morality tale on offer, along with a labrinthyne social commentary on class corruption. This is one of the films from which you can dig so much from. I think personally that despite it's great critical acclaim, that it was terribly overlooked at the Oscars, and should have at least earned a win in the best adapted screenplay category. Maybe they are saving to next year's Oscars, seeing as how it was only released worldwide in July, due to the afformented Madeline McCann case. Nonetheless, despite it's very obvious strengths, which no doubt make it one of the best of the year, like many masterpieces, it certainly is not without it's flaws. One of my main problems with the film was the fact that the film avoided much about the relationship between Kenzie and Gennero. To be honest, I do believe that they avoided to enhance the main plot, but they are they key central characters in the film, and I believe that Affleck (Ben) should have been able to counterbalance the two. Also, despite the fact that the twisting and turning plot was no doubt inventive, personally I felt that it had the problem of that whole "false ending" syndrome. I feel that for a movie to truly work, it should not keep making us feel that the movie is over whenever it is not. At times, as much as it pains me to say it, the film did seem dragged out. However, do not take these flaws as me saying don't see this film. I believe that it should be seen by everyone. It offers us a great amount to play with. It is a film that makes us think and gives us a morality tale, a social commentary and neo-noir thriller all rolled up in one package. I think it is a masterpiece and deserves to be greatly commended.
The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 9.1/10