Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dennis Lehane at the movies

Back in December, a coworker recommended to me that I read Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island [Book on CD, eBook]. I vaguely remember him mentioning a movie being made, but that didn't much matter. He used key nouns like "mystery," "island," "murders," "1950s asylum," etc., which got my interest. It sounded like an engagingly dark easy read, so I grabbed it to read on a trip I took earlier this month. I enjoyed the story--while Lehane doesn't write novels that will be required reading school, he certainly comes up with enjoyable concepts.

When I got back from my trip, I looked into other titles Lehane penned. As I had plenty of other reading, I couldn't grab any of the books, but realized that the films Mystic River [DVD, Book, Book on Tape, eBook] and Gone Baby Gone [DVD, Book, eBook] were also based on novels by the author. I could easily spend a couple evenings checking these out.

Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and Laurence Fishburne, was as phenomenal as a film with six Oscar-nominations should be. The plot involves three adults who were childhood friends, one of whom is not quite right since his childhood abduction. Another is searching for the murderer of his teenage daughter, while the third is a Boston detective working toward the same goal. If you're like I was last week and have not seen this, I highly recommend that you do so.

Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris, was also deservedly well-received. A private detective couple are pulled into an investigation for a missing girl by her grieving aunt. The detectives, having grown up in the area, have more personal connections in the community to people who would rather not talk to the police. Gone Baby Gone is not as slick as Mystic River, but that's to be expected as this was Affleck's first time directing and Eastwood has had a few decades of practice.

The success of these films give me confidence that Shutter Island should look great on the screen, which is reinforced by its director, Martin Scorsese, and cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Emily Mortimer. You can find me at the theater on opening weekend, February 19th.

No comments: