© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany GmbH

Gone Baby Gone
U.S.A. 2007

Opening 29 Nov 2007

Directed by: Ben Affleck
Writing credits: Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard, Dennis Lehane
Principal actors: Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, John Ashton

The gone baby is four-year-old Amanda, who disappeares from her mother’s apartment in the Dorchester part of Boston. Mother Helene McCready (Amy Ryan) lives from welfare and connections to drug dealers in an unsavoury environment, which, at first glance, could swallow up any child. Detectives/lovers Patrick (Casey Affleck) and Angie (Michelle Monaghan) take on the search. Perhaps as residents of the area themselves, they might find clues overlooked by the police. The police (Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and John Ashton) are not amused to share the work with outsiders. The neighbors wring their hands in despair. Trails lead to the wrong suspects and there is an unconvincing surprise ending. The film is good enough if you are interested in the subject matter. Casey Affleck is a surprisingly good actor who seems to have popped up from nowhere. Perhaps he has been hiding behind his more famous brother, Ben Affleck who directs; his first attempt as director.

Probably the most interesting fact, which has also caused much publicity in Europe, is that Ben Affleck agreed to postpone indefinitely the opening of Gone Baby Gone in Great Britain. This is because of a real case of a disappeared child. Four-year-old Madelaine McCann, daughter of British parents Kate and Gerry from Leicester, disappeared from a hotel room during holidays in Portugal. The child still has not been found. There were so many parallels between fact and fiction that it was considered poor taste, if not insensitive, to open the film in a country where so many people are still praying for the safe return of Madelaine. (Becky Tan)

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