Gone Baby Gone

Ann and I saw this film directed by Ben Affleck earlier this week; it’s just been released on DVD. Gone Baby Gone, which has gotten a lot of praise, concerns the disappearance of a child and the complications that result. The first half of the film, with its rising tension and rising stakes, is not only riveting but beautiful to look at: great cinematography, often of the worst parts of Boston. However, the event on which the movie hinges–an exchange gone wrong, with a doll floating in a lake (an image that returns several times)–begins a downward slide for Gone Baby Gone. Into plot holes and unbelievability. Without giving away too much, we never bought why the thug named Cheese would be part of the exchange. We didn’t really buy into the reasons why another character enters a bar dressed in a disguise to fake a robbery. We knew immediately when the police captain appears, played by A Certain Famous Actor, that this wasn’t just a cameo. And we honestly just didn’t care in the end. The book the movie is based on was written by a well-known crime author, Lehane, and we had similar problems with the last movie we saw based on a book by him (Mystic River). Good set-up, only decent ending. I’m beginning to think it’s something about the author and not the filmmakers.


  1. says

    It’s just Floridian prejudice, I tell you! You hate people who don’t use the letter R in their speech! Also, Lehane’s plotting is the result of living in a place that’s hot and humid in the summer and frigid in the winter. (In truth, I thought Mystic River was awful, but I liked GBG well enough, particularly Amy Ryan’s performance. Casey Affleck was much better in The Assassination of Jesse James, though. My favorite parts of the movie, though, were what you pointed out — those tracking shots of Dorchester. I mean, Dawchesta.)

  2. says

    I just saw it this weekend myself and you nailed it. It was a great setup, but everything after the exchange was tortured. Smart characters doing stupid things from all directions.

  3. says

    Not the author, is my understanding. I know a lot about Boston and disliked the movie intensely because of the main characters and because I could see the resolution a mile away, like halfway through. The supporting cast was excellent, the accents excellent. I wasn’t a fan of the direction or tight camera work. The leads were unbelievable, imo, in terms of how the two characters are written by the author and in terms of how the movie played out. She’s tough in the books and came across as a bimbo in the film. And he wasn’t really believable as someone who could stand up to the neighborhood, even with a gun.