Casey Affleck‘s long-anticipated feature, “Light of My Life” is finally here. The film is Affleck’s second as director and writer, his first being the 2010 hip-hop mockumentary “I’m Still Here.” But nearly a decade has passed since then, and it seems that “Light of My Life” is radically different, and decidedly more mature in its tone. See for yourself in the synopsis: Parent and child journey through the outskirts of society a decade after a pandemic has wiped out half the world’s population. As a father struggles to protect his child, their bond, and the character of humanity, is tested.
In the past few years, Affleck’s career has been more dormant than usual. The #MeToo era resurfaced old allegations against him during the making of “I’m Not There,” that was settled out of court, but they derailed him nonetheless. Affleck had a complicated time at that year’s Oscars, however, winning Best Actor for his role in “Manchester by the Sea” and rescinding the opportunity to present the award for 2017’s Best Actress. In the wake of the #MeToo era, perhaps his upcoming feature will gauge how audiences respond to the career ‘comebacks’ of alleged offenders.
“Light of My Life” premiered February 8th, 2019 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Early reviews have praised its performances and Affleck’s direction but accused the screenplay of meandering and dragging at points. Others have criticized Affleck’s choice to write himself as a “guardian of women.” Where do you stand on actors who try to continue their careers and redeem their reputations after sexual harassment allegations? This question is one of the most relevant and pressing in current Hollywood culture.
“Light of My Life” will premiere in theaters nationwide, on Digital and OnDemand, August 9. It stars Casey Affleck, Anna Pniowsky, Elisabeth Moss, Tom Bower, and Hrothgar Mathews.