Ben Affleck, filmmaker-star, rides again in ‘The Town’

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LOS ANGELES — In the glory days of the 1990s, Ben Affleck and his friend Matt Damon, a couple of struggling actors, startled Hollywood by writing brilliantly conceived roles for themselves into a screenplay called “Good Will Hunting,” and picking up an Oscar for their effort.

The coming weeks will tell whether Mr. Affleck has rung the bell again, by working for the first time since then as both actor and filmmaker in a project specifically meant to show what he can do.

Next Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival, then three days later at a Toronto Film Festival gala, Mr. Affleck will introduce “The Town.” Set for commercial release by Warner Brothers on Sept. 17, it is an ambitious heist film with Mr. Affleck as director, star and a co-writer, with Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard.

And it is clearly meant to refocus a career that has bounced from roles in action thrillers like “Armageddon,” to bit parts in indie romps like “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” through the on-screen embarrassment of “Gigli,” to acclaim for directing “Gone Baby Gone.” All without delivering what “Good Will Hunting” seemed to promise: that rare actor with skills enough to create his own showcase.

Full story: Ben Affleck, Filmmaker-Star, Rides Again in ‘The Town’ – NYTimes.com