Real New YorkSun, May. 18 2008
Just finished watching "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead," a solid New York melodrama by a man who knows the territory, director Sidney Lumet. It's a heavyweight film about a pair of desperate brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) who hatch an ill-fated plan to knock off their parents Westchester jewelery store. I knew it was Westchester before they said it - the locations were spot on. I did some reading after the film and found that they shot the White Plains Hospital as one location. Another "Westchester" location was actually a Bayside, Queens strip mall.Fooled me.
The "realness" of "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" got me thinking about "Gone Baby Gone," a solid offering from the brothers Affleck (Ben directing, Casey acting) about a local PI hunting for a kidnapped little girl in the back alleys and dive bars of Boston. This is another film that feels like it nails the real grit of real life. Interestingly, one of the stand-outs in the cast, Amy Ryan, who plays the beyond irresponsible mother of the missing girl, also played Phillip Seymour Hoffman's wife in "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead."