Opening night at the New York Film Festival is always fun in the grandeur of Avery Fisher Hall and stars in tow, and this past year was no different. Clint Eastwood began his introduction of his cast and crew (Mystic River author Dennis Lehane, screenwriter Brian Helgeland, and stars Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Tim Robbins, and Sean Penn) with what seems like the joke du mois - the California gubernatorial race joke: "I'm not running for governor."
As for Mystic River, it's well-made and well-acted, but for Gothamist, it was a little lifeless. It didn't have the crackle or energy the way another Warners-Brian Helgeland-adapted film, L.A. Confidential (a Gothamist favorite), did. And while A.O. Scott called Penn's performance the best of the past quarter century, and, yes, he's good, but we were more impressed by Tim Robbin's performance as a stunted ghost of a grown-man and Marcia Gay Harden as his confused wife.
Jack Matthews interviews Clint Eastwood in the Daily News. Photos of the NYFF opening night premiere of Mystic River from WireImage.