best of casey affleck


The Oscars are apparently just around the corner, and I thought I'd take a few minutes to promote my favorite actor: Casey Affleck. Everyone's always like "Who's that?" whenever I mention him, so this is my chance to show y'all what he's in and why he's so great. Without further ado, here are my favorite films featuring Casey - in order of preference, of course.

1
T H E A S S A S S I N A T I O N O F J E S S E J A M E S
B Y T H E C O W A R D R O B E R T F O R D

2007 - Dir. Andrew Dominik
Role: Robert Ford

This is definitely amongst my three all-time favorite movies. Yes, really. Affleck is absolutely brilliant here as the young protégée who idolizes his mentor/father figure Jesse James (played by the equally brilliant Brad Pitt) a little too much... Someone made an awesome character study fanvid and you have no idea how happy I was when I realized it's still on Youtube. Watch it. Or watch the full film. Actually, just do both.





2
G O N E B A B Y G O N E

2007 - Dir. Ben Affleck
Role: Patrick Kenzie

Sometimes I have trouble separating Affleck from Patrick Kenzie's character in Dennis Lehane's original book series, which this film was inspired by. But that's a good thing, right? Means Affleck did a convincing job as the young Bostonian detective solving dark and violent crimes (or in this case, the abduction of a child). From the accent to the demeanor, Affleck is clearly in his element here. He has some classic film scenes, such as the one below.



3
A I N ' T T H E M B O D I E S S A I N T S

2013 - Dir. David Lowery
Role: Bob Muldoon

I've probably seen ATBD nearly ten times, as I wrote a final paper about it for my Contemporary Cinema class in Edinburgh. And yet it's still a pleasure to watch every time. With Casey Affleck (my favorite actor) and Rooney Mara (my favorite actress) leading with strong performances, you can't really go wrong. In this subverted Bonnie & Clyde tale, Affleck plays an outlaw who goes to jail to protect his wife, and fights to reunite with her and their daughter. He's convincing as the strong-willed yet naïve outlaw who dreams of "settling down" and wants to "build a little house, open a shop" and "get old".



4
M A N C H E S T E R B Y T H E S E A

2016 - Dir. Kenneth Lonergan
Role: Lee Chandler


This is the first time Affleck has had the clear leading role in a film since Lonesome Jim (I'm not counting the kid, played by Lucas Hedges, here). And better yet, the audience gets over two hours of pure Affleck performance. Sure, it's not a crazy departure from his usual acting, but Affleck delivers at what he's good at. There's one particularly powerful scene, which takes place after a personal tragedy, in which his character has an emotionally charging conversation with officers. It's hard to describe. You should just watch this.



5
T H E K I L L E R I N S I D E ME


2010 - Dir. Michael Winterbottom
Role: Lou Ford


It's been a while since I've seen this one, but from what I remember it's rather violent (lots of TW). Affleck truly shines as the dark and psychopathic killer here, veering away from his usual good guy/ likable antagonist archetypes. Maybe I'll watch this again, now!



BONUS
H O N O R A B L E M E N T I O N S

Lonesome Jim (2005) - Cute oldie also starring Liv Tyler. Affleck is endearing as a depressive twenty-something looking for meaning.

The Ocean's Series (2001, 2004, 2007) - Who doesn't love good old Turk and Virgil Malloy?Seriously - these two bring the group together. It's a shame they don't get more screentime.

Interstellar (2014) - You know that guy with the beard who plays Matthew McConaughey's grown up son? Yea, that's Casey. He's pretty much the only antagonist in the movie (along with Matt Damon's character), but he's great nonetheless.

The Finest Hours (2016) - I saw this one in the plane on my way to San Francisco. While, I'm not a fan of Chris Pine, and boat catastrophe thrillers (see: Titanic) really stress me out, I still greatly enjoyed this. Affleck plays the chief engineer of the oil tanker stranded at sea. It looks really freaking cold out there, yet he's somehow sporting a short-sleeve shirt the whole time. Oh, and he looks very fine in a wet shirt. More importantly, he's arguably essential to everyone's survival.

Good Will Hunting (1997) - Last but not least - "Give me my fucking sandwich!" Yes, Affleck has a small part in this cult film, alongside his brother and Matt Damon. He has a few epic scenes, including this one. I wish he'd take on more of these comic relief roles, because he's pretty darn great at it.

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