Following the rollout of the film (for which reactions are under embargo), Affleck participated in a Q&A with the stars from the movie that included Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, as well as editor William Goldenberg. Here’s what Affleck told the crowd about the production:
“This is the first movie I’ve made that was really constructed on purpose. I wanted it to feel classic, like it could have been made in the ’70s or even the ’40s, not doing too much cutting, not having very tight close-ups, allowing scenes to play and giving the actors space to play across the frame. But also we’re aware of contemporary audiences’ acclimation. The grammar of film is different now. So it was a challenge.”
Based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, Live By Night takes place during Prohibition and stars Affleck as Joe Coughlin, the prodigal son of a Boston police captain who works his way up from bootlegger to notorious Florida gangster. He adapted the screenplay himself and recruited Oscar-winning The Hateful Eight and The Aviator cinematographer Robert Richardson to serve as his director of photography.
Here’s the official synopsis for Live by Night:
“Live by Night” is set in the roaring `20s when Prohibition hasn’t stopped the flow of booze in an underground network of gangster-run speakeasies. The opportunity to gain power and money is there for any man with enough ambition and nerve and Joe Coughlin, the son of the Boston Police Superintendent, long ago turned his back on his strict upbringing for the spoils of being an outlaw. But even among criminals there are rules and Joe breaks a big one: crossing a powerful mob boss by stealing his money and his moll. The fiery affair ends in tragedy, setting Joe on a path of revenge, ambition, romance and betrayal that propels him out of Boston and up the ladder of Tampa’s steamy rum-running underworld.
The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Scott Eastwood, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, and Anthony Michael Hall. Live by Night opens in theaters on January 13, 2017.