Boston on Film Again: The Grit in Back

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There’s a lot of good things to report about Ben Affleck’s directing debut, his take on Dennis Lehane’s "Gone Baby Gone," but no one is going to say "feel-good movie of the season" or anything like that. It’s the first movie to be made about two of Lehane’s serial detective team Patrick Kenzie (played by Ben’s younger bro Casey) and Angie Genarro (Michelle Monaghan). And it’s one of the rare movies to capture the underside of Boston. This isn’t Newbury street and art galleries; this is Dorchester, with some Southie, Roxbury, Everett and Chelsea. This is set in working class or lower class enclaves. This is a abduction story that looks simple: Amanda, the three-year old daughter of a single, self-centered, self-medicated mother goes missing. We soon learn that it appears a major drug dealer has done the deed, because the mother – working as a mule for him – and her scumbag boyfriend have scammed $130,000 from said dealer. He wants his cash. So, it’ll be tit for tat: Return the baby, get the money. But, he swears he didn’t take the kid, and, maybe he didn’t. Kenzie and Genarro are hired by the daughter’s aunt – private detectives who augment the police, but are closer to the street.

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