Growing up in the Northeast, the figure of the tough Boston “Southie” loomed large, although New York City was closer in influence and distance. The accent, the crassness, the hotheaded willingness to fight over everything, were always intimidating, even if that culture gave us The New Kids on the Block and Marky Mark.
I had never heard of Whitey Bulger or his crimes until I previewed Black Mass (based on the book Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, The FBI and a Devil’s Deal) this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival. I can’t do a recap or full critique, but I can tell you that it’s excellent, and bloody brutal. Performances to watch here include Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey’s brother, former state senator Billy Bulger and Joel Edgerton as Whitey’s childhood friend and corrupt FBI agent John Connolly.