Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#70 Mystic River - The world is a bad, bad place.

2003. dir. Clint Eastwood, starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne.

Seen it before? No.

Jimmy, Dave and Sean are three kids living in Beantown. Dave gets abducted under false pretense - the guy said he was going to take him home to his mother and make him explain why he and his friends were writing in cement - (and sexually abused) but escapes and is never the same afterward, though he does have a wife and kid. Sean becomes a cop with a daughter and a girlfriend who keeps calling but not saying anything. Jimmy becomes a parolee who runs a convenience store and is a family man. They are all tied to Boston. It's like the three couldn't escape the personal hell that became their reality once Dave got abducted. Their friendships are strained - though Dave and Jimmy are related somewhat because their wives are cousins.

The story gets complicated because the writing was made to mislead anything you're thinking. I figured it out though. So did Sam. And I was hoping I was right the whole time. But, like other Clint Eastwood movies, I don't see hope at the end of the movie. I get depressed thinking about how bad things happen to good people and how the bad things are done by people who really exist in the world.

This movie reminded me of the movie Sleepers from 1996 but in hindsight it was probably because of the sexual abuse and Kevin Bacon and not anything else...Hell's Kitchen and parts of Boston are never quite portrayed in film as anything other than Cabrini Green...

Sean Penn didn't irritate me in this movie as much as he usually does (although admittedly he was TERRIFIC in MILK!). I've seen about a dozen Kevin Bacon movies and was glad he played a good guy in this one. Tim Robbins though, wow. Any time I see Tim Robbins I envision Shawshank so seeing him in this was just incredible. I'm not a fan of Marcia Gay Harden though I felt her role was probably the doubt the one person you're supposed to love and trust the most isn't an easy task I imagine...and let me just say I love Laura Linney in anything she does and she was terrific in this movie too.

See it again? Once was enough, really
Own it? I'll pass
How do you know those characters? - Emmy Rossum as Sean Penn's daughter was in Phantom the screen version; Silent Ray - Spencer Treat Clark was in Gladiator but he was much younger.
Final thought - was Laurence Fishburne's character's name supposed to be ironic?

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