Ben Affleck is an American actor who more than any other actor embodies the ideal of perfect mediocrity. While this may seem like a significant accomplishment, the reality is that it leaves Affleck in a unique dilemma. While sufficiently handsome to grace the cover of tabloids whenever he is caught in any dubious behavior, he is neither good enough, like his longtime friend Matt Damon, to warrant the libelous attention of the tabloids, nor bad enough, like for instance Danny Bonaducci, to not be taken seriously at all. All of this means that Affleck will never catch the break in this town he needs to go from B-list to A-list.
Although he is far more handsome, Affleck resides firmly in the acting talent shadow of his much better younger brother, Casey Affleck. As such, Ben Affleck is reduced to taking shitty roles in bad action movies, or putting his lack of talent on obvious display against real actors such as Russell Crowe. This may explain why he has turned to directing as a sort of fall-back.
As a director, he is surprisingly accomplished, leaving one to wonder why he ever turns the camera around in any vehicle other than as self-parody in a Kevin Smith farce. His feature directing debut, Gone Baby Gone, was a critically acclaimed psychological action thriller, wrought with well-developed characters and an engaging plot that was consistently surprising and never outlandish. One of the greatest aspects of this film, in fact, is the fact that Affleck did not try to direct himself in front of the camera. With the critical success of this film and the comic short I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney, a title I am certain you think I made up, his time behind the camera is more than welcome, and not simply because it limits his time in front of it.