By Amy Huber, Editor –
As part of the Muskegon Area Arts and Humanities Festival (Ah Fest), four movies based
on novels by crime and mystery writer Dennis Lehane will be shown at the Muskegon Museum
of Art on Wednesdays during October.
Each movie will be followed by a brief discussion led by Mary Tyler, English instructor
at MCC. The films begin at 6 p.m. and there will be free popcorn as well as a beer and wine cash
bar for those over 21. The museum is located at 296 W. Webster St., Muskegon.
The movies are a lead-up to the Oct. 27 appearance of Lehane at the Frauenthal Theater
in Muskegon. He also will do book signings and give a short presentation.
“The Muskegon Writers’ Series has always brought and wants to continue to bring a
variety of writers to Muskegon,” said Tyler. “As a crime and mystery writer, Dennis Lehane is
one of the very best. Plus all of his books, and I mean ALL that have become movies, are
On Oct. 5, Mystic River will kick off the series. The movie was directed by Clint
Eastwood, and starred Academy Award winners Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, along with Kevin
Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney.
According to IMDB, “Summer, 1975: in a tight blue-collar Boston neighborhood, three
kids are playing when one is abducted and sexually abused for several days. Jump ahead: the
victim, Dave (Robbins), is haunted by memories and protective of his own son. Jimmy (Penn) is
an ex-con, father of three. Sean (Bacon) is a homicide detective, estranged from his pregnant
wife. When Jimmy's teen daughter dies, Sean investigates, Dave's a suspect, and Jimmy vows to
find the killer before the cops. The dead girl has a boyfriend whose long-missing father has a
history with Jimmy. The boyfriend's a suspect, and when ballistics turns up a link to a gun owned
by the young man's father, the case breaks. In the background, wives move events along.”
Monday, Oct. 12, Gone Baby Gone will be presented. This Academy Award-nominated
film is directed by Ben Affleck, and features Madeline O’Brien, Amy Madigan, Casey Affleck,
and Michelle Monaghan.
According to IMDb, “When 4-year-old Amanda McCready (O’Brien) disappears from
her home and the police make little headway in solving the case, the girl's aunt Beatrice
McCready (Madigan) hires two private detectives, Patrick Kenzie (Affleck) and Angie Gennaro
(Monaghan). The detectives freely admit that they have little experience with this type of case,
but the family wants them for two reasons – they're not cops and they know the tough Boston
neighborhood in which they all live. As the case progresses, Kenzie and Gennaro face drug
dealers, gangs and pedophiles. When they are about to solve their case, they are faced with a
moral dilemma that could tear them apart.”
The third movie in the series, Shutter Island, will be shown on Oct. 19. This movie won
eight awards, and was nominated for 59 others. Leonardo DiCaprio took home three of those.
This film also stars Mark Rulllo and Ben Kingsley.
According to IMDb, “It's 1954, and up-and- coming U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels
(DiCaprio) is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a patient from Boston's Shutter Island
Ashecliffe Hospital. He's been pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons, but
before long he wonders whether he hasn't been brought there as part of a twisted plot by hospital
doctors whose radical treatments range from unethical to illegal to downright sinister. Teddy's
shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising lead, but the hospital refuses him access to
records he suspects would break the case wide open. As a hurricane cuts off communication with
the mainland, more dangerous criminals "escape" in the confusion, and the puzzling, improbable
clues multiply, Teddy begins to doubt everything – his memory, his partner, even his own
The final film of the series, The Drop, will be shown on Oct. 26. Directed by Michael R.
Roskam, this film won three awards and was nominated for four more. Lead roles were played
by Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini, in his final role.
According to IMDb, the movie “follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Hardy)
through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters – ‘money drops’ – in the
underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv
(Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an
investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all
work together to make a living – no matter the cost.”