Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gone, Michael Clayton, gone

L and I went to see "Michael Clayton" and "Gone, baby gone" – and enjoyed both movies. I knew very little about Michael Clayton, besides that it was about lawyers, and starred Georges Clooney. It was a bit of a slow day, and we wanted to be entertained; and the movie did just that. It is by no means memorable – but it’s a good thriller, with a solid plot and very snappy dialog; a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
I have been a Lehane fan for a few years; he is one of the very few authors who manage to write “noir” today without sounding like a Chandler pastiche. Part of his strength is his gritty descriptions of the popular neighborhoods of Boston, so I was initially concerned that a lot would be lost in translation getting the Hollywood treatment - and then got very excited when I heard Ben Affleck, an outspoken Bostonian, explaining that he took a documentary-like approach and that "the characters portrayed in Gone Baby Gone are all real people". I thought the resulting movie was very good, mostly for that reason. It is a smart adaptation; the plot is simplified, but the spirit of the book is definitely preserved, and there is something raw and honest about the movie which largely makes up for its minor flaws.

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