When the daughter (Emmy Rossum) of ex-con Jimmy Marcus (Sean Penn) is murdered, two of his childhood friends from the neighborhood are involved. Dave (Tim Robbins), a blue-collar worker, was the last person to see her alive, while Sean (Kevin Bacon), a homicide detective, is heading up the case. As Sean proceeds with his investigation, Jimmy conducts one of his own through neighborhood contacts. Eventually, Jimmy suspects Dave is the culprit and considers taking the law into his own hands.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Awards and Nominations
Academy Awards, 2004
Best Actor in a Leading Role - Sean Penn
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Tim Robbins
Nominated - Best Picture
Nominated - Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Marcia Gay Harden
Nominated - Best Director - Clint Eastwood
Nominated - Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay - Brian Helgeland
Golden Globes, 2004
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Sean Penn
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Tim Robbins
Nominated - Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated - Best Director - Motion Picture - Clint Eastwood
Nominated - Best Screenplay - Motion Picture - Brian Helgeland
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2004
Nominated - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Tim Robbins
Nominated - Actor - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role - Sean Penn
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Marcia Gay Harden talks her 'Mystic River' character 'Celeste Boyle' - AV Club
MGH: For Mystic River, Clint [Eastwood] called my upstate home, and my niece from Texas answered the phone. [In a near-whispered Clint Eastwood impression] "Hey. Is Marcia there?" [Loud high-pitched Texas accent] "Hold on! Can I say who’s calling?" "This is Clint Eastwood." "No, it’s not!" "Yes, it is." "No, it’s not!" "Yes, it is!" "It is?" [Screaming.] "Oh, my GODDDD! Marcia! Clint Eastwood is calling the house!" [Laughs.] So I get on the phone, trying to act all cool myself, "Oh, hi, Clint! Look, um, I know you’re casting that movie, and I really think there’s something I can do with the role. I have some ideas for her. So I just wanted you to keep me in mind if you think I’m right for it when you do it." A couple of weeks later, I got the offer. He said, "Let me see what you’ve got."
So I brought up my hair, the voice, the whole idea of her as fragile as she was. We were really lucky, because we had the script, but we also had the book to base deeper aspects of character on, and I just felt like there was a real fragility to her, that she was very, very moral. And in that movie, all the people who make the moral choice to do "the right thing," they all get screwed. And the first ones are the boys. In my day, if a car pulled up that looked like a police car and they said, "Get in," you got in. That’s when I was a kid. Today’s kids probably wouldn’t do that. They’d be like, "I don’t have to, read me my rights, I have a phone call to make first," whatever. Not in my day. You’d get in. Because you minded authority. So they’re doing what they think they should be doing, and they get hurt. The second one is the girl who stops for the person she thinks she hit. If you hit somebody and you go on, that’s called a hit-and-run! It’s illegal! But she thinks she hit somebody, so she gets out. And she gets hurt.
And my character... If you think someone committed a crime, you should turn them in to whomever you perceive authority to be. And in this case, Celeste didn’t believe the authority was the police, because she’d grown up always thinking that the police were the bad guys. So she took it to Sean [Penn]. He was authority. He was the neighborhood boss. He would do the right thing. And in each case, the moral action came back to sting us. And I loved that about the story. And I love that about Clint’s filmmaking. I think it’s one of the most beautiful films he’s made, from the color palette to… Well, I just think it’s beautiful: the direction, the performances by Sean and Tim [Robbins], just beautiful. And sad.
Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden Talk 'Mystic River' - IGNBy Fred Topel
The actresses discuss working with Clint Eastwood and their fellow cast members.
Mystic River is a story about men and their psychological problems. One guy was molested as a child, one guy lost his daughter, one guy has a marriage in shambles as he's investigating the murder of his friend's daughter with his other friend as the lead suspect. So, where is there room for women in this story? Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden had the task of finding that.
Harden, who plays the wife of molestation victim Dave (Tim Robbins), said it was the same as "the importance of women in life. A film without women isn't real and in this particular film, Laura's character plays such a very different role than my character does. But my character, Celeste, holds the secret and it's torture to hold that secret. So she's a catalyst for a lot of the action and a lot of the drama and a lot of mistakes. And also, I think that she's, in that final scene, a true avenue of some of the pathos of loss."
Linney couldn't be so analytical. "I'm not an English major," Linney said. "Questions like that are so hard for me, the importance of women. I think it's more, not just being women, but I think that when there's a tragic event, I think the repercussions of how it moves through an entire family is really what it's about. If you want to talk archetypally or anything, I can't."
That said, she was happy to be a part of the male-dominated film. "I loved being around these boys. I loved it, I loved it. It was so fun. These are all men who know what they're doing. These are not adolescent boys who don't do their work. These are men who know what they're doing. So, they knew what a great environment they were in, and they were just as excited about the movie as Clint was. And they all have great mutual respect for each other, so it's kind of wonderful when you can go in and really play ball very hard and know that someone's going to catch the ball on the other end and know that someone's gonna throw the ball hard at you. Marcia Gay and I were so funny because we were like the little old ladies. We'd be drinking tea and the boys are out. They just had a good time. They had a good time being with each other, they had a good time being in Boston. And also there was a lot of hard work going on, but I loved being around them. I just love all of them."
Harden confirmed what most actors say about working with Eastwood, no frills and straight to the point. "You come with whatever hair you want, whatever the accent you want. There's not a rehearsal period of developing the look of the character. And he's worked with his costume people and the hair people with ideas, but I brought my own wig, because I had long hair in it, so I brought that. See, I didn't know this about Clint so on Space Cowboys, I had just come from Pollock, so I had those bangs. And I probably would've brought my own hair if I'd known that they don't do that. So I knew to come ready and if you do that, then you don't waste four camera takes while you're still getting your lines down, while you're kind of feeling out where you are. You come camera-ready and he says action, it's like a race. Let's go. And everybody goes and everybody does the best they can do and listens as openly as they can."Read More
'Mystic' leads BFCA Awards with 8 noms - The Hollywood Reporter
Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, a dark tale of tragedy affecting a tightknit Boston community, leads the list of nominees for the ninth annual Critics' Choice Awards, announced Tuesday by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. The Warner Bros. Pictures release scored eight noms, including best picture, best director and composer for Eastwood, best actor for Sean Penn, best supporting actor for Tim Robbins, best supporting actress for Marcia Gay Harden, best acting ensemble and best writer for Brian Helgeland, who adapted Dennis Lehane's novel on which the film is based.
'Mystic River' Tops National Board of Review Awards IMdb News
Mystic River, Clint Eastwood's brooding adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel about a tightly knit Boston community driven apart by a series of crimes, was named best film of the year by the National Board of Review on Wednesday. Sean Penn, who stars in Mystic River as an ex-con whose daughter is missing, was named best actor for both Mystic and 21 Grams, in which he plays a dying man who receives a new chance at life.