It’s been four long years since Ben Affleck’s last film as director, the Oscar-winning Argo. And now, he’s back with Live by Night, a gangster drama set in 1920s Boston. Warner Bros released the first trailer for the film, which they’re really hoping is going to be a major Oscar contender this year.
First, here’s the official synopsis:
Live by Night is set in the roaring `20s when Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll. The fiery affair ends in tragedy, setting Joe on a path of revenge, ambition, romance and betrayal that propels him out of Boston and up the ladder of Tampa’s steamy rum-running underworld.
Live by Night is based on a book by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Gone Baby Gone, which Affleck adapted into his first film as director in 2007. You might know Lehane from his other adapted works, Shutter Island, Mystic River and The Drop.
But Live by Night is different. It isn’t like Lehane’s other Boston crime movies. For one, it’s a period drama – more along the line of The Untouchables and the recent Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp. Also, it’s got Affleck front and centre. He’s acting, writing and directing the movie, and it’ll help re-established him as a serious filmmaker after the turbulent months following Batman v Superman.
The film looks like a grand, old-fashioned Hollywood gangster epic – with lavish sets, great cinematography (courtesy the legendary Robert Richardson), and a fantastic cast that also includes Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson and Elle Fanning.
Live by Night will debut in limited release in December, in order to make it eligible for the 2017 Oscars. It will have a wider release in January 2017.
And here’s the trailer