Here's the trailer to Ben Affleck's The Town, which opens exactly two months from tomorrow.
Gone Baby Gone devotees, we understand there are a small but very serious group of them, should be pleased to note that Ben has already completed his second feature.
Do we want to see it?
Yes. When famous actors direct they can often call in favors and rope in impressive casts. This time we get Jeremy Renner, fresh off The Hurt Locker, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) in what could be an important transitional screen role, the oft acclaimed Chris Cooper. Best of all it looks like Rebecca Hall, who we consider practically the young actress to watch, is front and center in what looks like a possibly rangey role: crime victim? secret-hoarder? romantic object? inner strength finding heroine and/or downward spiraling conflicted bystander?
No. Cops and robbers, shoot outs, bank heists, blue collar criminals, passionate FBI agents on the hunt, blood brother betrayals, women caught in the crossfire...
Haven't we seen these stories, characters and the invididual story elements every year since the dawn of the cinema? a million times? When you're working in very very familiar cinematic playgrounds, your work better be revelatory. Your actors, not just your automobiles, better be on fire.
Now that his directorial learning curve is gone baby gone, Ben is working both sides of the camera. He might not be the rangiest actor but he's also proven to be a solid and/or charming performer at times. But can he direct himself as well as he directed his brother Casey? Amy Ryan may have won Gone's sole Oscar nod for her trashy druggy mother scene stealing but wasn't Casey Affleck the interesting hard to read protagonist rock that was holding that film together?
Nathaniel (that's me) is a firm "maybe so". Which are you?