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Bringing up Baby

We saw Gone Baby Gone yesterday afternoon. Americans will think I'm late to the game on this one, but it just opened here. It was delayed by a year or so due to the McCann case.

digression ...

I must be on some kind of Boston kick, eh? Missing Ptown, reading a novel and watching a film that's set there, then finding Sam Adams on the menu at last night's delicious dinner (hi Arek, *sigh*).

/ digression ...

Anyway, I pretty much loved the film. Young Ben should definitely stay on this side of the camera going forward. Amy Ryan was just genius ... finding the humor and humanity in a character that I'd normally have about *this* much tolerance for is quite an accomplishment. I spent several otherwise engaging scenes thinking bring back the horrible white trash mom.

Aside from the acting and fairly tight script, the best thing about the film for me was the moral dilemmas it raises. The "what would you do" discussions that you can't help but wonder about after the credits have rolled. It's not quite Sophie's Choice, but gosh, it does bring up a discussion point or two.

Have you seen it? If you haven't and want to, go do so and come back. If you have or don't care about seeing it, let's talk on the other side of the jump.

Spoilers ahead.

What do you think?

Is killing a bad person okay? Even a pedophiling (new word, that) murderer? That one's probably an easier one than the next.

More troublesome is what would you have done with Madeline Amanda? Given her back to the mother who you think will change (but clearly doesn't), or go along with the law-breaking law keepers? Surely they'd give her the better life, the one that every kid deserves ... but then again, who are we to say what's best for a kid and her parent? At what point can we prove that someone's an unfit mother, and when are kids better off "in the system" than with their actual parents?

I decided that I'd have tried to make Capt Doyle negotiate w/ Helene and see if they couldn't work something out. Of course, that would have opened up a whole can of legal worms, because if she knew you had the kid she could scream bloody murder (or bloody kidnapping, I reckon) and sue the police department for all the cars in Harvard Yard, which no doubt she'd do (subsequently winning then spending it on fashions from Filene's Basement and blow).

And why the delay due to the McCain case? I was expecting that the parallels would line up next to the mother being involved, not the police. Do we really think the Portuguese police have Maddie? Or was it just that the picture of Amanda bore an arguable resemblance to her?

The situation itself seemed much closer to the Shannon Matthews ordeal, right?

In any case, it's excellent story telling ... put characters into impossible situations with extremely difficult choices, keep raising the stakes, and see what they do.