Though Gone Baby Gone and Argo may well be superior films, the first movie you think of when you consider Ben Affleck’s directorial vision is more than likely The Town. That’s because The Town seems to be the quintessential Ben Affleck story. Mix two parts street-tough-with-a-heart-of-gold with a healthy dose of Bostonian flare, and you’ve got the recipe for Affleck à la mode. Season the whole thing with a heavy layer of period piece—a flavor that Affleck apparently picked up a taste for while working on Argo—and you have his next and likewise very Afflecky-looking picture: Live by Night.
As we can see from the first trailer, director and star Affleck again finds himself affixed to the thriving Boston bank robbery subculture, though this time circa the post-World War I era. Indeed, the style of the time seems to be a prime selling point of Live by Night—the two-minute trailer alone shows how eagerly Affleck seems to have engaged with the look and vernacular of the ’20s and ’30s.
The “groove” of ’70s Hollywood is a big component of what made Argo such a successful creative endeavor, so we’ve got to hope that Affleck can handle the time period embraced by Live by Night with the same energy and sophistication. (We already know what he can do with the crime scene, of course.)
For Live by Night, Affleck has amounted an ensemble of established and rising stars, including Zoe Saldana, Brendan Gleeson, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Chris Messina, Scott Eastwood, and—my favorite revelation of the morning—Anthony Michael Hall.
Featured Image: Warner Bros