Much can be said about Ben Affleck, but lord do folks love to criticize him. Granted, he hasn’t always made the best acting or relationship choices, but somehow it’s impossible to hate him. Even when he plays Batman, which angered fanboys across the globe, he proved he had the chin for the job. In fact, he was the best and only good thing about Batman vs Superman. Even Kevin Smith thinks he’s the best Batman!
Think whatever you want about Affleck, but he’s still a guy who grew up in South Boston, co-wrote the script for Good Will Hunting
(winning an academy award
for it) and then went on to have a great career. Sure there was Daredevil
, but he’s had a great career nonetheless.
Even though Affleck made it as an actor, he found his true calling in 2007 when he directed the Boston crime flick Gone Baby Gone
, starring his brother Casey, adapted from a Dennis Lehane
novel. He showed great promise in his directorial debut, and even though the film isn’t flawless, it was all in all a strong crime thriller, reminiscent of ‘70s crime movies
Affleck then went on to direct his best movie to date, The Town
, a hard boiled heist flick that also happens to be a love letter to the city of Boston. It didn’t get the recognition it deserved, but the academy probably realized their mistake and belatedly gave him the Best Picture Oscar
a couple years later. A fine film, but almost too neat, resembling what Clint Eastwood can do on his best days.
However, it appears that Affleck is about to get his groove back through yet another Lehane adaptation. Before accepting the directorial gig on a little film where a caped crusader battles villains in Gotham City (potentially called The Batman
), he directed the Prohibition era set gangster film Live By Night
. Affleck is Joe Coughlin, a police captain’s son (played by the always perfect Brendan Gleeson
), who gets caught up in organized crime between Boston and Tampa.
The novel was written as a sequel to his 2008 epic The Given Day
, and Lehane himself worked in close collaboration with Affleck for the Live By Night
adaptation. Judging by the trailer, let’s just say it looks awesome, like an old school gangster flick that hopefully sets a new trend in Hollywood.
Who knows, maybe the academy will show more love for the film? That certainly seems to be what the producers are hoping for as the film will be out as a limited release on December 28th (possibly to qualify for an Oscar run), and will open nationwide wide January 13th. Hold on to your fedora, Affleck’s back!
Watch the trailer for Live By Night here