Ok, I’m just going to cut to the chase here. I’m in love with Ben Affleck. I just saw The Town – Ben’s 2nd directorial effort (effort makes it sound lame and lame it was not.) I was floored. The Town takes place in Charlestown (Boston) and is about repeated bank heists performed by criminal, mastermind, genius thugs. Suspense is a’plenty, tremendous actors (Ben actually used some real criminals in the film) and the research was….shall we say thorough. (More about that later.) Before I saw the film I read that people were comparing it to The Departed. But really, The Departed was meh for me, if only for the obvious symbolism towards the end of the movie of the rat running across the railing. Please, don’t insult. And yes, it had The Jack Nicholson and we can all respect Martin Scorcese, but I was blown away by The Town. Ben acted in it, wrote a little bit of it and directed it – so for a man in his later 30’s to pull a Clint Eastwood is….well, hot.
In the aftermath of seeing The Town, I am now obsessed with Ben Affleck and am online watching interviews of him promoting the film. Unsurprisingly, my fave interview he gave was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Our friend Jon asks him how he did his research. Ben pauses and says, “Well, The Google!” Jennifer Garner’s husband, Matt Damon’s childhood friend and cohort and Jennifer Lopez’s “one that got away” actually Googled bank robberies in Boston (the highest per capita of bank robberies of any city in the nation), took down the names, found out where they were incarcerated, cold-called the prison like a salesman, asked the warden if he could talk to his inmates and got inside their minds …..asking them how they spent their money, what kind of apartment they lived in, what kind of car they drove, their heist operations etc. Jon Stewart asks, “Do you think they were surprised at the questions you were asking?” “I think they were.” “I mean, weren’t they expecting you to ask, “So why are all of the security guards at banks old guys who are half-asleep slouched over in a corner?” <<laughter>>
Seriously, see the movie, it has Oscar nods written all over it. Suspenseful, well-written, stellar acting, edge of your seat. And for a girl with an extremely sensitive temperament who never likes to see gore and violence and prefers to stick with the rom-com, artsy fartsy, independent movie, documentary genres, well this movie gets an A+. I saw it in my neighbourhood at a theater where many other fartsies go – so I’m not sure what they were expecting. But I just covered my eyes when I sensed violence and gore was about to come and just had the unfortunate residiual of hearing groans and under-the-breath-“shit’s” around me. But I didn’t watch those parts. Had I had a man beside me to protect me the eyes would have been in his armpit like white on rice.
That said, I have newfound respect for Ben Affleck – as if we didn’t already respect him for Good Will Hunting, and appearing in a J-Lo video. Ok, maybe not the latter, we’ll cut him some slack on that one. You know, during the time when Ben was dating J-Lo, Madonna was reported to have said in the media, “I do feel sorry for them with the media firestorm, but in a way they have actually courted the media.” To which Ben responded, “Uh, file that under pot and kettle.”
I think that was when I fell in love and he just took it to a whole notha level with The Town.
Go see it. DO IT.