Here's an excerpt from my review of "Gone Baby Gone" in the November 5, 2007 issue of The American Conservative:
With The Sopranos wrapped up, there's a general feeling that the Italian mafia has finally been exhausted as grist for movies and TV. What
needs now is a new favorite crime-prone immigrant group, of which there is no shortage of candidates. Hollywood
, the more dismal murders -- such as one teenager shooting another over graffiti-tagging rights to an alley -- are committed mostly by the usual suspects. In contrast, the colorful capers that Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Brothers would find cool, the seemingly brilliant schemes that somehow go awry and end in a bloodbath, are perpetrated primarily by white newcomers from either the Middle East or the ex-Soviet Los Angeles Union: Armenians, Israelis, Persians, and the like.
seems instead to be falling in love with an ethnic group that has been here even longer than the Italians: the Irish. Working class white Hollywood Boston, where killings, while rare, frequently remain unsolved, has been the setting for the recent Oscar-winners "The Departed" and " ." Mystic River
Now, failed leading man Ben Affleck (perhaps most notorious for bombing in "Pearl Harbor"), who won a screenwriting Oscar a decade ago with his best friend Matt Damon for their movie about a Boston prole, "Good Will Hunting," has returned to his roots. He has co-adapted and directed "Gone Baby Gone," a detective thriller by
Mystic Rivernovelist Dennis Lehane set in Boston's grimy Dorchesterneighborhood.
Dorchesteris not exactly Ben's roots. He, personally, was born in Berkeley, Californiaand was raised in Cambridge, which is just like Dorchester, if Dorchesterwere home to Harvard and MIT.