Posted: 09/21/2010

 

The Town

by Del Harvey



Review by Wayne Case


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THE TOWN will easily make my Top Ten of 2010. So far this year, I haven’t seen anything else this well directed. I can’t find a thing about it that I didn’t like. Ben Affleck actually improves on the outstanding directing he did on his only other behind-the-camera stint, the equally wonderful GONE BABY GONE (2007). There is not a bit of fat present here and each scene really counts. Nothing introduced goes unanswered or unresolved by the fadeout. The balance between action and emotion is perfect.

The success of this film clearly starts with the script. Those credited with the screenplay are Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard and it is based on Chuck Hogan’s novel, “Prince of Thieves.”

From the stars right down through extras, the cast is amazing. Ben Affleck, directing himself, gives the best performance of his career. He builds on his excellent work in HOLLYWOODLAND (2006). Rebecca Hall (VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA - ‘08), Jon Hamm (AMC Television’s MAD MEN -2007-10+), Jeremy Renner (THE HURT
LOCKER - ‘08), & Blake Lively (Television’s GOSSIP GIRL - 2007-10+) deserve award consideration since each is vivid. Oscar winner Chris Cooper contributes strongly in his one telling scene and Pete Postlethwaite is solid in support.

All technical components are as good as it gets including expert editing from Dylan Tichenor (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN - ‘05); original music by Harry Gregson-Williams (MAN ON FIRE - ‘04) & David Buckley; cinematography of Robert Elswit (BOOGIE NIGHTS - 1997).

Too rarely a film will come along that reminds me just why I love going to the movies. My reaction to THE TOWN was visceral and renews my faith in the medium. Do yourself a favor; SEE IT!

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.



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