Mystic River

I have been meaning to see Mystic River for months now. With the Oscars looming so close, I finally got around to it, and I'm glad I did. This film was described to me as a Boston Irish version of The Godfather, and I think it's an apt comparison. It's not really a mafia movie--in some ways the movie isn't really about crime at all, though the central action revolves around a crime--so there are lots of differences. But both films are deeply concerned with family. Clint Eastwood really brought the film to life, and he did so with a humility you rarely see in film drama today. Sean Penn gave a masterful performance, and even though I think he'll lose the Oscar to Bill Murray, I still think his nomination was richly deserved. Kevin Bacon was also very good, although his performance was subtle enough that it almost gets lost beside Penn. The weakest link was Tim Robbins. I really don't understand why he was nominated for Supporting Actor; his performance was too one-dimensional, and that one dimension was completely overdone. Even so, the film is good enough to overcome that one weakness, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested.

Viewed: 2/13/2004 | Released: 10/2/2003 | Score: A

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