The end of Mystic River [Unboxed Spoilers]

What is going on in the scene between Laura Linney and Sean Penn at the end of the movie? Why does her character become so cold and heartless all of a sudden? She knows her husband killed her cousin’s husband because of a mistake and she is getting off (sexually and in other ways) on this. She has contempt for her cousin because of her cousin has doubts about her husband (Tim Robbins).

Why is Laura Linney talking about when she says Sean Penn could run the town? This whole scene seems to come out of nowhere and is not in line with the way Laura Linney acts in other parts of movie? Is the scene supposed to remind the audience of Macbeth and more specifically Lady Macbeth? IS this is the book? IS ther a better explaination of this character is acting this way?

You’re on the right track with the Lady Macbeth parallel. For most of the film, Laura Linney’s character sort of hangs out on the periphery and you wonder just why such a great actress got such a minor role. However, that final scene shows that she is a close ally, if not the inspiration for Sean Penn’s character to become the king of South Boston.

It’s a great scene and really chilling in my opinion.

If there’s one scene that completely removes me from the movie, this is it. Nothing that Linney says feels natural or motivated by anything that’s come before it. It feels overly-stylized and artificial, and Linney (who can be quite good) fails to make the scene work, IMHO. She oversells it, so it feels actorly. Though we know that Penn must be connected in some loose community-sense, she’s talking and behaving like she’s whispering into Scarface’s ear. Somehow, he’s graduated from a neighborhood thug to an epic-sized kingpin, and not for one minute did I buy it. There are plenty of things to like about the film, but this one scene was a gross miscalculation.

I hated that scene.

In fact, I didn’t like the movie that much, but mainly that’s because I felt like there were a lot of story bits that weren’t connected to anything else. I wonder if a lot ended up on the cutting-room floor. Maybe there were other scenes in which she actually, you know, had lines or something that would make that ending a little more consistant.

I also felt like Kevin Bacon’s sub-plot (with his wife) was woefully lacking. It was developed not at all, yet at the end they reconcile. WTF? There’s got to be scenes they decided to cut, but what one has to wonder is, why they left in the ones they did.

Remember, she is the sister of the Savage brothers. She grew up in the household which produced those two reprobates. She was raised to feel that only chumps followed all the rules all the time. Her husband had been running one of the most successful criminal teams in Boston before he was sent to jail by a weaselly little snitch, and he had the strength of character to be even more powerful.

She likes that. That is what attracted her to him in the first place. He kept her brothers in money and they never got caught working any of his plans, and even when he could have avoided going to jail by turning them in he refused. Now she feels he just needs to be told that it is all right to be himself.

Read the book, it clears up a lot of motivations.

Just saw it for the first time a few nights ago on HBO. The only thing that made this scene make any sense to me was the scene earlier with Annabeth’s father and Jimmy Markham (the Sean Penn character), when the father tells Jimmy (essentially) that Jimmy’s daughter’s dead and that his main responsibilty now is to take care of Annabeth and her daughters. This seemed to set up the scene at the end, where Annabeth seems to be making sure that Jimmy doesn’t let his guilt about having killed Dave Boyle get in the way of taking care of her and the girls. She’s looking out for herself and her daughters above all else, and making sure that nothing gets in the way of that. While we don’t see her behaving quite as badly as Lady Macbeth – she doesn’t actually convince or encourage Jimmy to kill anyone that we see – you come away with the notion that she would if she thought it would be necessary to protect her or her family. She’s contempuous of anyone who shows weakness or compassion or guilt – hence the scene at the very end with Celeste.

I don’t think that part of the movie works very well mind you, just that that’s how I read it.

Wasn’t the Sean Penn character still married to his first wife when he was sent ot jail? I believe she was only married to the Penn character after he went straight.

I’ve been told that if you read the book her character makes a lot more sense. They cut her part and the other woman’s part down consideralbly to make the movie.

Just watched it last night. It was an ambitious film, deserving of respect, with much to offer. But some of the dialogue was arch to the point of silliness. “I know in my soul I contributed to your death,” was as believable a line from Jimmy, a South Boston tough, as would have been, “To be or not to be.”

I was unsatisfied by the ending, all that “We’re in this together, aren’t we?; nobody else understands” bullshit between Jimmy and Sean. “It was if we all went in the car,” my ass–Dave did. And he was dead. I’m not sure what commentary Eastwood was making on the nature of retribution. Paybacks create an endless cycle of destruction seemed to be a message. Then why was Jimmy intact at the end? Even his daughter’s murder didn’t disrupt the integrity of his little hoodlum’s morality. He lived as he wanted to–and so what?

Anyway, here’s a picky question. I may have missed this since the TV was low (my wife was sleeping), but why in the world would the murderers have made that 911 call? What possible logical explanation is there for the kids to have beaten and shot this girl, then call 911 to alert the cops? I don’t get it.

IIRC, they were only trying to scare her, not kill her.

That I got. But they still shot her (albeit accidentally), then chased her, beat her with a hockey stick and shot her again (I think) to make sure she couldn’t identify them. Oh! And then they called the cops to alert them to the fact that a crime scene required their attention. :dubious: Again, I just don’t see this as a logical plot development. It is deus ex cell phona, IMO.