Wed 7 Dec 2016
It took me a very long time to get convinced about the acting skills of Ben Affleck. I could not distinguish him in the movies he acted, or between the roles in different movies he acted in the first years of his career and I could not understand what the hype was about. Sure, he is a good looking fellow, but what about acting skills, what about roles to remember after the end credits of the movies he played in, I was asking myself. I started to change surely by definitely my perception as his roles became more consistent, he acted less in the last decade (one film each year and most) and became an accomplished director with Argo, a film which I did not necessarily like but was considered solid and got a good reception.
Now comes his role in The Accountant, which for me completely turns the cards. It’s a crime story and quite a sophisticated one, in which the main hero is suffering from the Asperger’s syndrome which a dominant father, a dominant personality, tries not to cure, but to build inside the kid the kind of skills that help him survive in the tough world around. Certainly, the films about exceptionally skilled people who suffer of Asperger’s syndrome or other development disorders are not something completely new and they have allowed previous great roles like Dustin Hoffman‘s in Rain Man or Russell Crowe‘s in A Beautiful Mind. What is maybe different here is the combination with a the action thriller and, of course, Ben Affleck’s superb performance.
There is more good acting in this smart and well paced film. Besides Ben Affleck we have Anna Kendrick with not a very consistent role, but providing a solid and sensitive artistic delivery. It’s a pleasant surprise to see J.K. Simmons, an actor I know (and love) from many TV series in a role that gives a special human dimension to the type of ‘chief investigator’ roles he so often plays. Director Gavin O’Connor is not one of the best ranked directors in Hollywood, but this film gives him an opportunity which he uses quite well making of The Accountant one of these action thrillers that has brains and soul behind the action.