Archive for the ‘Mystic River’ Category

167 – Mystic River

July 5, 2004

Clint Eastwood’s film is unsettling, designed to keep make you feel uneasy for a week afterwards, and it’s largely successful.

As kids, Dave, Jimmy, and Sean were inseparable. Until the day thugs masquerading as cops abducted Dave and kept him in a cellar for four days. This, of course, messed Dave up a little, and as an adult he’s not quite all there.

Fast-forward to the present. Jimmy’s 19-year-old daughter Katie is brutally murdered, and suddenly the three friends, who have drifted a bit over the years, are brought back together. Sean, who’s now a cop, is assigned to the case.

The movie was nominated for six Oscars and won two (Sean Penn as Jimmy, Tim Robbins as Dave). To me, it was spellbinding. When I’m watching a movie at home, there are plenty of little distractions – Oh, I need something to eat, Oh, I gotta go to the bathroom, Oh, the dog needs to go out, and so forth – and as a result if the movie isn’t totally compelling I might watch it in installments. But with Mystic River I didn’t even notice the time until the movie was nearly an hour old. Eastwood’s direction – and Brian Helgeland’s screenplay – were so mesmerizing that I was completely drawn into the movie, believing every second, feeling like I was a bystander, rather than an audience. That is excellent filmmaking.

Also in the incredible cast are Marcia Gay Harden (who earned a nomination herself), Laurence Fishburne, Laura Linney, and Tom Guiry.

A must-see for fans of mystery/suspense movies.

Mystic River: ***1/2

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