Weekend media blow:
Gone Baby Gone: Probably the most morally ambivalent film I’ve seen in some years. I’m still not quite sure whether the protagonist did the right thing in the end or not. Amy Ryan disappears into her role as a Dorchester townie; I didn’t even recognize her until the credits. And kudos to Ben Affleck for being competent enough to direct a movie; I honestly didn’t think he had it in him. See it soonest.
Speed-the-Plow: Bad Habit Productions put up David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow this past weekend; it runs through the end of next weekend. A Hollywood producer debates whether to sign off on an action flick with a big-name star that he knows will make boatloads, or a risky film adaptation of a critically acclaimed novel. On one side is his long-time chum, a scheming power player who brought the action script to his door; on the other side is his secretary, who’s moved by the book and wants to see it on screen.
It’s a Mamet play, of course, so the woman is paying the price for the sins of her entire race. Fortunately, the woman was being played by Kate Bailey (BC ’02), so she had a viewpoint and an integrity of her own and wasn’t just an object for the men to alternately covet or mistrust. It took me about five minutes to place the accent of the man playing Bobby Gould – Dutch? Norwegian? – but after that it never bothered me again. His mastery of Mamet’s prose was fluid enough that it wasn’t an obstacle. And the sweaty young man playing Chuck Fox was a perfect amalgamation of every coke-huffing Hollywood agent ever depicted on film while still being an original in his own right.