Two big wide releases today to review, both from two well-known and respected directors, both perhaps considered among the Oscar push from their respective studios. The first is Ben Affleck's period piece crime drama Live By Night, while the second film releasing today Silence, is also a period piece but features two very different leads than the former film's gangsters: two priests. These two films probably couldn't be more different in every way. We'll start with my thoughts on Live By Night.
About ten years ago Ben Affleck astonished the world and began his career comeback as a director with his fantastic Gone Baby Gone. In 2010 he proved he wasn't just a one-hit wonder with The Town and in 2012 he won an Oscar for best picture of his film Argo. All three of his directed films were huge successes, now enter Live By Night.
Let me just start off my review of Silence by saying that this film is clearly not for everyone. The story follows two young priests during the 1600's played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver who beg to go to Japan to find their lost mentor (Liam Neeson) who disappeared and was rumored to have gone apostate while teaching the people. The film is almost three hours long and full of ponderous moments throughout, and when it comes down to it really is all about one man's spirituality in the face of extreme adversity.