Gone Baby Gone is Ben Affleck’s directorial debut and it’s pretty damn good. It’s the story of a private investigator looking for a little girl who has gone missing in his neighbourhood, and brother does he get messed up in some serious shit. And just when you think you know what’s going on, you don’t, and it’s at that point the film shifts into high gear and doesn’t let up until the very last shot. It’s not just a thriller; it’s an intellectually engaging and morally challenging film, one that will give you something to talk about while the credits are rolling. That’s an accomplishment for any film. (Not recommended for parents with small kids, though.)
Anything directed by Jim Jarmusch is worth watching, even though his movies don’t always do much for me (Dead Man and Coffee and Cigarettes). His camera quietly observes people in an unobtrusive way that brings out the subtleties of character and has us feeling for them because they’re just so unremarkable. Broken Flowers, a road trip movie about a guy (Bill Murray) looking for a woman who leaves an unsigned letter in his mailbox informing him that he has a son, is Jarmusch’s most conventional movie to date, and as good as anything he’s done. It’s one of my favourite movies from 2005.
Bill Murray’s low-key acting style is perfect for a character bored enough with his life that he’ll drive across the country visiting old girlfriends. He doesn’t tell them directly why he’s come to see them. His approach is, “By the way, you don’t have any children, do you?” Each of his old girlfriends has a distinctive history, some of them sad, some of them scarred, some of them bizarre — all of them potential mothers of a son he’s never met. It’s a quietly dramatic movie with enough funny moments to keep it entertaining. And Jeffrey Wright as Winston is the best (the guy in the trailer who says, “Congratulations, you’re a father!”). The soundtrack is excellent too. I’ve watched Broken Flowers on DVD a few times now. It works well on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
It’s difficult to see in the photo, but he’s holding an axe in his right hand. But Obi-wan has his light sabre, so I guess that makes it an even fight.
In other news, I now have 50 Facebook “friends.” I’ve decided that’s my limit. If I accept any more friend requests, it means I’ll have to kill off one of my other friends. That works for me. Facebook is a reminder of how little I have in common with any of my “friends.” My favourite friend is Whole Wheat (aka Jim Kloss). No joking. I look at everything my other friends post, and I either have no interest or I can’t relate to them at all. Jim went out to work in his garden the other day. I can relate to that.