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Boston’s Long Dark Teatime of the Soul

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Now THIS is a movie to go see! From the disclaimer at the end of the New York Times review of Clint Eastwood’s film Mystic River:

“Mystic River” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has profanity, abundant violence and existential despair.

Existential despair!

But really, go read the review and tell me if it’s isn’t incredibly positive.

This is all very encouraging. The book, by Dennis Lehane, was superb in that it captured the essence of working-class Massachusetts– insular, fiercely loyal, fucked-up like a family, real– better than any other author I’ve read. Like Jonathan Lethem’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” (or Steven King’s “The Body”) Lehane mined the local culture of his home to explore the darker side of maleness, duty, family, friends, and group loyalty. Who better to address these themes on film than Clint Eastwood? Ever since Unforgiven he has been working territory like this, and this seems like the perfect marriage of director and story.

Luckily, Eastwood made the crucial, and expensive, decision to shoot the film in Boston rather than some non-Boston Vancouver type place, and early reports say that he managed to capture Lethem’s local vibe on screen. Hell yeah! Triple deckers, narrow streets, the Tobin Bridge, and Catholic-Puritan neighborhood cultures, without a bit of CGI! Yeah!

I can’t wait… existential despair, Boston style! And just in time for the Red Sox nation’s own annual rite of existential despair, ashes-and-sackcloth wearing, unconsidered recriminations, and fevered, drunken, heartbreaking promises that next yeah, next yeah, Mackie, is gonna be the yeah….

Unless, of course, the Sox take three straight from the A’s. Hey, it could happen. It’s going to happen. Why can’t you see that?

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