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Gone Baby Gone (2007)


Harry
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Possible film of the year for me. I just finished watching and I thought it was truly magnificent. Excellent acting, great cast and a brilliant storyline. Definitely not one to miss. I give it 9/10.

And yes, it's directed by Ben Affleck, plenty of Affleck haters on this forum, let's see what you have to say about it. :)

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Glad you liked it Harry, I must admit I was apprehensive when I heard Ben Affleck was attached, as the Kenzie and Genarro novels by Dennis Lehane (writer for The Wire and author of Mystic River) are brilliant and it would be nice to see them done justice.

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Grabbed the screener of this yesterday and I thought it was pretty good. It had a real Sean Penn feel to it, which I liked.

There was one thing I’m not clear on. Was the drug-dealer (Cheese?) at the lake with them when they faked the child’s death? If so, why was he there? Also I found it a bit hard to believe that Ed Harris would let it slip about him and the informant so casually.

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Great film. Good to see another big movie star putting his money into a decent script.

Great atmospheric shots and great casting, apart for the three cops who where all typecasted. The extra's and locations where excellent though. This film had the most realistic characters and setting I've seen in a long time.

One thing I didn't understand though:

How did Patrick get away with killing that child molester?

From IMDB:

The film's UK release, scheduled for 28 December 2007, has been postponed indefinitely because of the film’s similarity to the real-life case of four-year-old maddy McCann who disappeared from the holiday apartment where she and her family were staying in Praia da Luz, Portugual, on 3 May 2007.
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it's has some similarites;

The family in the film are called the McCreadys

The girl is young blonde and has a favorite soft toy

The mother has the looks of Kate Mccan, on drugs

the child is abducted when left alone in the house asleep, while the parent is in a bar

The parent lies to the police about the timings on the night of the abduction\

Private investigator hired to help find missing child

media circus outside the house

But that's it. After the opening it's not similar at all.

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Possible film of the year for me. I just finished watching and I thought it was truly magnificent. Excellent acting, great cast and a brilliant storyline. Definitely not one to miss. I give it 9/10.

And yes, it's directed by Ben Affleck, plenty of Affleck haters on this forum, let's see what you have to say about it. :lol:

Couldn't agree more with this opening post. Was expecting a solid thriller, but I found it totally gripping, surprising and genuinely moving. And all without a hint of schmaltz. For a directorial debut it's astonishing; unfussy, unshowy direction and all the actors are excellent throughout. Affleck deserves a nom at the very least.

EDIT: They both do.

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  • 3 months later...

Saw this on the plane on my hols, great film.

I would imagine that it was edited because it was on a flight but there were still some heavy scenes, will have to pick it up on dvd when its released to check out again.

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I saw this last October and was a bit reluctant to go, to be honest. Funny enough one of the characters (the girl from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) voiced the objection I was feeling before it started when she said he didn't want to do the case since they'd most likely find a dead little girl in a dumpster. However, after I watched it I thought the film was very entertaining and was shocked it had come from Ben Affleck. He cast good actors and good faces in a lot of the parts and they held the film up while he directed very unassumingly. I hope he continues this pattern, Casey acts and he directs him. I had an extra fondness for it because I love detective films, and we haven't had a good one in a while. I've met a bunch of people who had issue with how contrived this film is, and it does get a bit silly later on, but that's part and parcel of it being a hard boiled detective story. I remember the story of Howard Hawks making The Big Sleep and he phoned Raymond Chandler to ask who had killed a character at a certain point in the book because it didn't really make sense, and Chandler said "I haven't a fucking clue". It doesn't really matter if it all ties up so long as it's entertaining while it's going.

I'd certainly watch another film with this character, so long as he was played by Casey Affleck, who did an excellent job.

A few of my favourite scenes, please don't read if you haven't seen it -

Right near the start when Patrick is in the bar with his partner. "Open the door, rummy" "Fat Dave" "Make me a fucking martini". Before that scene Casey Affleck's character is so docile and sleepy, after you can believe he knows some drug dealers.

The final scene where after getting her daughter back, and throwing away everything to do what he thought is right, Patrick is asked to look after the little girl while the mother goes out. Same as when the girl went missing, except now they have a flat screen TV, which the camera pans around. Also her mother had the name of the stuffed toy wrong!

This is out now on BluRay I think, I'll have to pick it up.

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Hmmm, me and the mrs didn't really get on with this film and its a little tough to say why exactly. Everything about the acting, backdrop and especially Casey Affleck is top drawer. Absolutely first rate. I think in light of this I had difficulty swallowing the breadth of the conspiracy to abduct this child, especially considering some of the characters involved and some of the events

faking the child's death?

. The individual motivations for being involved seemed unrealistic and the final reveal at the end far too signposted for my liking (and I'm not one to pick up on these things generally). Clearly all issues with the plot then but I appreciate it as a solid directorial debut though, very well made.

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  • 2 months later...

I just saw this, and was surprised at how good it was. I knew hardly anything about it before it started, so for the most of the time I had no idea where it was going. I thought it was going to be a drama about losing a child - it's so good when you know nothing about a film, and have to pay attention all the way through to make up for your lack of assumptions, isn't it? At the 90-minute mark, I was thinking "is that it? Not bad, quite unsatisfactory though." LOL

Anyway, I thought it successfully straddled the tricky line between thriller and drama. It tackled weighty themes with tact and managed to avoid schmalz or preachiness. It could have gone either way at several points (especially at the end), but it always came good.

I was a little worried at the shootout in the freaky house that it was going to demonise ugly white trash, but of course the way it ended balanced that out. I was totally sucked in by the conspiracy, too, especially when the brother gave the false version of events - I well believed him. At one point fairly early in the film, I wondered if Morgan Freeman nicked the girl to replace his kid and then dismissed that as being a rubbish idea. But the way way the story panned out made sense though. Everyone had believable motivations, I thought. Much better than the usual "it was all about the money" resolutions.

Some uber-tense scenes in there as well!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Saw it last night and was underwhelmed. Had all the right ingredients but just didn't come alive for me. I felt the whole 'grow up in the city' thing was rather pretentious when you saw nothing (really) of the Boston neighbourhood where a good deal of the drama comes from. Could see which way the plot was going from very early on, which was disappointing. Characters seemed two-dimensional to me and rather cliched (with the predictable 'Morgan Freeman plays Morgan Freeman'). Pacing in the middle part of the movie was all over the place too (the cliff bit and following pointless, lazy montage). And I spent rather too much of the film wanting Casey Affleck to open his mouth wider. It was enjoyable but not something I'd hurry to watch again.

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  • 2 months later...

Dennis Lehane! Beadie Russell! Omar Little! For a Wire fan, the authentic casting, the exciting new Boston lingo (what on earth is a finger-blaster?) and the downbeat realism was all very promising. I think I'm a fan of Casey Affleck. I thought there were a number of powerful scenes, and that only the need to neatly tie things up in a movie-length plot was going to scupper it.

But my God, all of this strong, dark, real stuff was wedded to a ridiculous plot that could have come from any eighties straight to video

cop corruption

drama, complete with the Scooby Doo giveaway by the baddie. I thought wedding that narrative form to these themes was wildly inappropriate. And in those eighties films, once the

corrupt cops

had their scheme revealed, then there'd just be a killing, a resurrection and a second, kill-the-baddie-for-good scene, and we could all go home. But this had endless layers upon layers of endings for the hard of thinking and it just made me bored and angry. And I just don't believe the girlfriend would act like she did.

Saving it very slightly, I thought the very last scene was pretty nice. But I don't believe our maddy McCann moppet could have a coke ho for a mum and have such fantastic hair. Let me tell you, keeping a five year old's hair in that condition is no easy task. Beadie Russell must be an obsessive brusher with a Tangle Teazer when she's hopped up on goofballs.

I wrote this before I read your responses in this thread. You're all fucking mental!

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  • 4 months later...

I wasn't all that keen on seeing this for the sole reason that it is based on a book by the author of Mystic River which was a terribly contrived piece of rubbish. Thankfully this was better in most areas - the cast were great, Affleck's direction was assured and the soundtrack was good - but once again the plot lets it down a little. It felt like a traditional Hollywood detective story trying to wrestle with more serious themes and I'm not 100% convinced they managed to gel the two.

It does show a lot of promise for Affleck as a director though and Casey, once again, delivers a brilliant performance.

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I thought the Mystic River novel was fantastic, and while I didn't think the film was complete dross, it was pretty awful in comparison. Dennis Lehane is an excellent author, I understand he did a lot of writing for The Wire. I'm hoping they film some more of the Kenzie and Gennaro novels, Affleck completely suits the role.

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