“The Town”, recently released into theaters, opened with the number one spot in the box office with 24 million, and has solidified Ben Affleck as one of the best crime drama directors around. It’s amazing to think that five short years ago Affleck couldn’t buy a part in a number one film.
“Gigli”, in which he starred in with Jennifer Lopez hit the theaters on August 1, 2003. Top critic Richard Roeper called it “one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen”. Not exactly something you want to read with your morning coffee on the day of your movie’s release. Not to mention the film made an embarrassing 6 million throughout it’s duration in theaters.Things kept getting worse for Ben as movies like “Paycheck”, “Surviving Christmas”, and “Jersey Girl” were also ridiculed by critics, and dubs at the box office. Ben’s four-year run of awful movies put him in the category of “untrustworthy”. It seemed like light years ago since Affleck won an Oscar in 1997, for co-writing the script for “Good Will Hunting” with actor and longtime buddy, Matt Damon.
Affleck suddenly seemed to disappear. On the other hand, his buddy Matt Damon just kept grabbing the gold ring , putting together great performances in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and the “Bourne” franchise. Damon has now made himself into one of the biggest actors in Hollywood. Career decisions can be difficult in the movie business. What looks good on the printed page can often turn into a disaster on the silver screen. While Damon’s reputation grew, Affleck, due to horrible choices and his hectic personal life, became fuel for late night comedians.
Other than the amazing resurrection by Robert Downey Jr., lately there hasn’t been an actor who has fallen so far in this business and gotten back up on their feet in such a short time. His climb back began with his role as Christopher Reeves in the film “Hollywoodland”. He proved to critics that he was still a good dramatic actor . Critics claimed the role was perfect for Affleck because of the similarities between Affleck’s and Reeve’s struggling careers. However, noone could have predicted him becoming an Oscar worthy director.
Affleck, who had only directed one short film in his career, did not seem to have the experience to pull off directing a top-of-the-line film when he directed ‘Gone Baby Gone”. Released on October 17, 2007, “Gone” didn’t do great at the box office the but got outstanding reviews, scoring Amy Ryan an Oscar Nomination for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role”.
Affleck has proven that he is no “one-hit wonder” with his latest film; “The Town”. Amazing critical reviews almost guarantee the film to be an Oscar contender(especially with ten movies now in the category for “Film of the Year”). Affleck has a talent for fleshing out his characters, giving them real-life flaws and helping you relate to them. Go to your nearest theater and visit “The Town”. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Watch out Scorsese, Affleck is a comin’.