Last month, “Black Mass,” the biopic starring a blue-eyed Johnny Depp as the notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, hit theaters to mixed acclaim. “Black Mass” is not to be confused with “The Departed,” Martin Scorsese’s 2003 cops-and-robbers opus loosely based on Whitey. Nor is it to be confused with “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” the Whitey Bulger doc that came out last year, nor the other Whitey Bulger biopic that Ben Affleck was reportedly going to make after he finished the movie he’s adapted from the novel Live by Night by Boston screenwriter/author Dennis Lehane that is also about Boston gangsters. Then there’s “Spotlight,” the Michael Keaton vehicle about The Boston Globe‘s investigation of the Catholic Church cover-up scandal, which opens in wide release next month and has already generated serious Oscar buzz. In other words, Boston is all over the multiplexes, business as usual.
But why is this business as usual, especially since very few Hollywood actors can pull off that curious mix of dropped Rs and wide As that comprises an authentic Boston accent? (Lord knows Michael Keaton can’t.) Continue Reading →