Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Mystic River meets Who Will Love My Children (7/10)

Gone_Baby_GoneGone Baby Gone (GBG) is based on a recent installment of Dennis Lehane’s series of crime novels set in the grimy reality of South Boston. [Lehane also wrote Mystic River (2003), which became a movie netting an Oscar nomination for director Clint Eastwood and an Oscar victory for leading man, Sean Penn, and supporting actor Tim Robbins.]  GBG climbs right into the rather bleak yet homey apartment of Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro, who mix business with pleasure by doing freelance private investigations.

A child has disappeared, and her aunt Beatrice McCready (Amy Madigan) and uncle Lionel McCready (Titus Welliver) are unhappy with police progress on resolving the whereabouts. Feeling someone from the neighborhood will be more inclined to get answers, they make an earnest plea to our young, relatively inexperienced PI couple.  Patrick and Angie, being advised by the head of the Crimes against Children task force Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) to “work with us,” proceed to check out the local haunts and blind pigs that the cops don’t much know or care about.

And that whole process of experiencing, through Patrick and Angie’s eyes, the local color of South Boston lends the film a unique “you are there” authenticity. These are the real people… and a lot of ’em are pretty sleazy and/or scary hombres and hombrettes—you want to keep one hand on your wallet and the other ready to reach for your .38.  Helene McCready (Amy Ryan), the mother of the missing kid, is a mean little drug-abusing slut; while expressing obligatory faux grief while the news cameras are rolling, she really isn’t motherhood material. Continue reading