All big cities have their day, but while some of us once saw Boston as merely a Mecca of Ivy League schools and historical conflict, the likes of Martin Scorsese and Ben Affleck have shed some light on its gritty, crime-ridden reality. And in the spirit of iconic big cities, the Toronto International Film Festival was used as the setting for the triumphant premiere that served as a testimony to the event’s credibility – as well as to the discussion that while Canada looks on, areas of the US are quickly devolving into a new type of third world.
Behold the bank robbery capital of the world: Charlestown. An area of Massachusetts defined by violence, theft, drugs and familial legacies of organized crime, The Town proves that just because a city seems synonymous with academia and notable history doesn’t mean it’s without serious problems.
Enter: Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), a former all-star athlete stifled by a former drug addiction that’s left him to continue in his father’s bank robbing footsteps. On a bright weekday morning, he and his team descend upon a Cambridge bank and for the first time, take with them a hostage: Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), the assistant bank manager who, unaware of her abductors’ identities, quickly begins a relationship with the tortured MacRay a couple weeks later.
However, with a bold and determined FBI agent (Jon Hamm) quickly closing in on the bank robbing crew, it’s only a matter of time before identities are revealed, lives are lost and destinies are determined, leaving anyone watching to shield their eyes, shake their heads and brace for impact.
To put it plainly, the film is flawless. Not only does Affleck succeed in intricately developing his own character, each supporting person fulfils a crucial role in telling the story, with no line wasted, no shot without purpose and no actor miscast. Like 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, the realities of impoverished Massachusetts communities are conveyed perfectly, with even the most heinous villains given hearts and dimension, leaving audiences to walk away with mouths gaping; lost in new perceptions of the western world’s harsh realities.
Will this film get the Oscar nod? It better.
As Affleck reminds us why he’s worthy of second chances following anything made in the early 2000s, to say The Town isn’t going to be a go-to for award season is a blatant lie. Whether it’s Rebecca Hall’s breakout performance or Jon Hamm’s updated version of a ball-busting and street savvier Don Draper (the comparisons will always be inevitable), the mainstream beacon of TIFF encompasses nearly every aspect of an Academy-Award winning film. And sure, that may not guarantee anything, but with ten spots set aside for Best Picture nominations, you may as well begin plotting your Oscar pool now.
Posted 1163 days ago by
In: New Movies
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