Boston seems to be a hot area for Oscar nominated films their year (and in recent years). The Fighter, The Social Network, and The Town were – at least partially – filmed in the greater Boston area. That last, is a star-studded crime caper in the same vein as Mamet’s “Heist”. Adapted from the Chuck Hogan novel Prince of Thieves, it tells the story of best friend career criminals, and their crew of bank robbers.
Jem Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) plays the more loose, more willing to kill without restraint best friend of Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) who has already done serious time. Jeremy Renner plays this to a T, angry and cold, but always with a rational reason behind his moves. He is a wildman and a wild card; unpredictable in his moves, actions, and reactions. Smart and somewhat sadistic, he is always on for the next gig, and the next, always pushing for more and more.
As I said last year with his Best Actor nomination (for A Hurt Locker), he doesn’t change roles very much, or very often. Dahmer, S.W.A.T, A Hurt Locker, The Town – all representative of cold, calculating people. Though good, he shows remarkably little range or stretch in characters, relying on people who are more on the slightly sick and demented side. And while I did enjoy her performance, in my cut I found nothing in it that separated him from the Jeremy Renner of last year. Once he finds range, something different, unusual – he will then be a danger on the award circuit. Until then – he will always be one step behind award glory.
And Lastly: Animal Kingdom