Tonight I watched Mystic River, Clint Eastwood's dark and powerful film based on the equally excellent novel by Dennis Lehane; like all of Lehane's work it is set in Boston. Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn), Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins) and Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) are three boyhood friends whose adult lives intersect when Jimmy's teenage daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is brutally murdered. Sean is the state police detective on the case, while Dave was one of the last people to see Katie alive. Hanging over all three men is a dark episode from the past, when a 10-year-old Dave was kidnapped by a pair of pedophiles and held captive for several days. While the intricacies of Lehane's novel are, of necessity, simplified on film, the screenplay by Brian Helgeland (who also did the excellent adaptation of LA Confidential years before) is highly faithful to the core story and the characters. Penn and Robbins are both excellent, and deservedly won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Rossum is impressive in her handful of scenes, while Marcia Gay Harden was Oscar-nominated as Dave's wife Celeste. In comparison to these performances, Kevin Bacon is "only" very good as Sean Devine, while Laura Linney is just a touch overwrought as Annabeth, Jimmy's wife. Overall, an excellent film and a textbook example of how to adapt a novel to screen.
"May the hinges of friendship never rust, nor the wings of love lose a feather"--Scottish blessing