Gone Baby Gone
|Gone Baby Gone|
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Ben Affleck|
|Produced by||Sean Bailey
Alan Ladd, Jr.
|Screenplay by||Ben Affleck
|Based on||Gone, Baby, Gone
by Dennis Lehane
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Editing by||William Goldenberg|
|Studio||The Ladd Company|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||114 minutes|
Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American mystery film directed by Ben Affleck (making his feature-length directorial debut) and starring his brother Casey Affleck. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island. The plot centers on two private investigators, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, hunting for an abducted four-year-old girl from the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.
Private investigator Patrick Kenzie and his partner/girlfriend Angie Gennaro witness a televised plea by a woman named Helene McCready for the return of her missing daughter Amanda, who was abducted with her favorite doll "Mirabelle". Patrick and Angie are then hired by the child's aunt Beatrice to find Amanda and discover that Helene and her boyfriend "Skinny Ray" had recently stolen money from Cheese, a local Haitian drug lord. After Ray is murdered, Patrick and Angie join the police detectives investigating the case, Remy Bressant and Nick Poole, to arrange a trade of the money for Amanda. Captain Jack Doyle reads Patrick a telephone transcript of the drug lord setting up an exchange for Amanda. The exchange at a nearby quarry in Quincy is botched and Amanda is believed to have drowned, as her doll is found in the quarry and returned to Helene. Doyle, whose own daughter was killed years before, takes responsibility for the death and goes into early retirement.
Two months later, a seven-year-old boy is abducted in Everett and Patrick receives information that the boy was taken by a known child molester. After entering his house and finding evidence of the abducted boy, Patrick returns with Remy and Nick to rescue him. They are seen by the residents and Nick is shot. Patrick enters the house during the shootout and finds one of the residents dead. He retreats into the child molester's room, where he finds the boy's dead body; he then shoots the child molester in the back of the head in a fit of rage.
Nick later dies of his wounds. Trying to alleviate Patrick's guilt over the events at the house, Remy unthinkingly confides that he once planted evidence on someone with the help of "Skinny Ray" — whom he had initially told Patrick he didn't know. After Nick's funeral, Patrick speaks to a police officer, who tells him that Remy had been asking about the drug lord's stolen money before the drug lord knew it was missing. Patrick then questions Beatrice's husband Lionel in a bar and pieces together that Lionel and Remy had conspired to stage a fake kidnapping in order to take the drug money for themselves and to save Amanda from her mother's neglectful parenting. At that point, Remy (trying to cover for his earlier mistake) enters the bar, while wearing a latex mask and holding a shotgun, and stages a robbery. He points the shotgun at Lionel's head, but the bartender shoots Remy twice in the back. Remy flees and is pursued by Patrick to the rooftop of a nearby building, where he dies.
Patrick is questioned by the police about Remy's death and learns that the police never had a phone transcript like the one that Doyle had read to him prior to the botched exchange. Patrick and Angie drive to Doyle's home, where Patrick finds Amanda living happily with Doyle and his wife; Doyle was part of the phony kidnapping all along. Patrick threatens to call the authorities, but Doyle attempts to convince him that Amanda is better off living with them than with her mother. Patrick leaves and discusses the choices with Angie, who says she will leave him if he calls the police, since she believes that Amanda is much better off with the Doyles. In the next scene, the police arrive, Doyle is arrested, Amanda is returned to her mother amidst heavy publicity, and Patrick and Angie break up.
Patrick later visits Amanda as Helene is about to leave on a date with someone she met during the publicity over her daughter's disappearance. Helene informs Patrick that Beatrice has been forbidden to visit and is upset about her husband's arrest. Helene has no babysitter for Amanda and when asked, she tells Patrick that Dottie (Helene's friend) will watch her, even though she has yet to ask Dottie herself. Patrick volunteers to watch Amanda, who is holding her old doll and watching television. Patrick asks Amanda about Mirabelle, only to hear Amanda inform him that her doll's name is "Annabelle" — implying that Helene did not even know the name of her daughter's favorite toy.
- Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie
- Michelle Monaghan as Angie Gennaro
- Morgan Freeman as Captain Jack Doyle
- Ed Harris as Detective Sergeant Remy Bressant
- John Ashton as Detective Nick Poole
- Amy Ryan as Helene McCready
- Madeline O'Brien as Amanda McCready
- Amy Madigan as Beatrice McCready
- Titus Welliver as Lionel McCready
- Slaine as Bubba Rogowski
- Edi Gathegi as Cheese
- Mark Margolis as Leon Trett
- Michael K. Williams as Devin
- Jill Quigg as Dottie
Released on October 19, 2007, the film has grossed an estimated $20,300,218 domestically and $13,909,570 in other territories for a worldwide total of $34,209,788.1
The UK release was originally set for December 28, 2007, but was pushed back to June 6, 2008, due to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The Malaysian release was originally set for September 20, 2007, but was postponed to March 27, 2008, due to the kidnapping and murder of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin.
The film was a favorite among critics and audiences alike. The movie won an assortment of awards, including Best First Film for Ben Affleck from the Austin Film Critics Association. As of March 22, 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported 94% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 163 reviews.2 The review aggregator Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 72 out of 100, based on 34 reviews.3
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone raved "The brothers Affleck both emerge triumphant in this mesmerizing thriller,"4 while the New York Post called it "a twisty, morally ambiguous and satisfying neo-noir."5 Patrick Radden Keefe criticized the film for overstating the case in an otherwise laudable attempt to "capture Boston in all its sordid glory," writing that "The result is not so much what Mean Streets did for New York as what Deliverance did for Appalachia."6
Ryan's performance in particular was singled out for acclaim, resulting in wins for the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress and National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award.
In an issue of Vrij Nederland, Dutch critic and writer Arnon Grunberg called the book good, but the movie better, saying "Gone Baby Gone might not be a perfect film, but it's definitely an important one, if only to raise the question: 'What is home?'"8
- 2nd – Christy Lemire, Associated Press11
- 4th – Ben Lyons, The Daily 10
- 6th – Richard Roeper, At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper
- 6th – Michael Medved, The Best and Worst of 2007
- 7th – James Berardinelli, ReelViews
- 8th – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
- 9th – Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 12, 2008. Extras include an audio commentary by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard, deleted scenes, and two behind-the-scenes featurettes. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Australia on September 10, 2008, in which the ending depicts Monaghan's character imploring Affleck's character to return the child to her biological mother.
- BoxOffice Mojo
- "Gone Baby Gone – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "Gone Baby Gone (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "Gone Baby Gone: Review: Rolling Stone". 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Lumenick, Lou (2007-10-19). "Ben Flair, Done That". New York Post. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Keefe, Patrick Radden (2007-10-23). "Ben Affleck's Boston: His portrait of the city is far from perfect — but at least it's not wicked bad". Slate.
- Grunberg, Arnon (2008-01-12). "Home is where they'd kill for you". Vrij Nederland (in Dutch). pp. 68–71. "Ben Affleck filmed Gone Baby Gone, based on the book by thriller author Dennis Lehane about the kidnapping of a child. The Book is good, but the movie is better."
- "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- David Germain; Christy Lemire (2007-12-27). "'No Country for Old Men' earns nod from AP critics". Associated Press, via Columbia Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- Official website
- Gone Baby Gone at the Internet Movie Database
- Gone Baby Gone at Rotten Tomatoes
- Gone Baby Gone at Metacritic
- Gone Baby Gone at Box Office Mojo
- Gone Baby Gone at allmovie