February 17, 2010
Here’s a Massachusetts movie sweep that’s probably the first of its kind: I picked up this week’s Rolling Stone (the one with a heavily-tattooed Lil Wayne on the cover), and all of the movie reviews inside were of Massachusetts-set films.
I was surprised the usually perceptive Peter Travers didn’t write about the connection in his own reviews: There was “Edge of Darkness,” a revenge flick featuring an angry Mel Gibson and set in modern-day Boston, at one end with “Shutter Island,” a Martin Scorsese-helmed thriller starring Leo DiCaprio and set in 1950s Boston, on the other. In between, there was “The Ghost Writer,” a Roman Polanski film that largely takes place on Martha’s Vineyard.
Two of these three movies – “Edge” and “Shutter Island” – were predominantly shot in Massachusetts in 2008, contributing significantly to the local film industry at the time. The Rolling Stone reviews serve as yet another reminder of the rising prominence that Massachusetts is playing in the film industry – and yet another reminder of what we could lose if the state Legislature monkeys with the state’s generous tax credits for the film industry.
Of course, the Roman Polanski movie was the only one of the three that wasn’t actually filmed here. But I have a feeling that the decision had something to do with Polanski’s legal problems, and not the state’s tax incentives.