Gone Girl

By Peter Towe

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014

thumbs_gone_girl_production_1David Fincher’s new film Gone Girl embodies all the elements that set the director apart from many of his peers and shows that after 20 years he’s still getting better.  While Gone Girl may not be “his best” film, it’s clear to say that it feels like his most complete and personal film in the last few years.  There is no denying this guy has an incredible filmography, and his newest effort only makes it stronger.  In a year when most of the films released have merely swam in the knee high kids pool, Gone Girl dives into the deep end, and if you your not ready, you will not float.

The only part of the plot I feel comfortable talking about is already well documented.  Bar owner Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is eventually accused of killing his wife Amy Elliot-Dunne (Rosamund Pike) who has recently disappeared and is declared missing.  That’s it.  It’s all you need to know going in to the movie, except for those who have read the novel.  I have not read the book, so in essence, have no context to compare, but then again- it’s a movie review and in this case less-is-more.

gone-girl-movie-photo-1Gone Girl features all the visual and character details David Fincher has been known for.  While their are not long tracking shots (which I personally love), he instead uses the tracking shots for quicker and still beautiful presentations.  Aesthetically the film is incredible, but like in many of his movies, the characters are equally if not more intriguing than the filmmakers visual decisions.  The film has a large say in analyzing the culture we live in and breaks down social norms commonly seen in our media and amongst our celebrity obsessed culture.

This dark-chilling-thriller breaks apart how we interact with the media, and shows that while on the surface things appear one-way, but are often completely different.  It’s a complicated film that while extremely unsettling, has a large amount of funny moments that break up an otherwise emotionally somber movie.  The concept of marriage and how we have become accustomed to it, also catches center stage, and leaves a funny yet twisted sense of the tradition in the minds of viewers.

gone-girl-movie-photo-6Gillian Flynn (who also scripted the novel) adapted her novel to perfection, and the collaboration with Fincher feels perfect.  From what I’ve heard the novel is lighter in tone, and combining it with Fincher’s dark, cynical, and eerie ambiance, make for a fantastic watch.  Flynn’s script is excellent, and the acts end in ways you wouldn’t imagine.  I had no idea how it was going to end, and that’s excellent when compared to most of the films released so far in 2014.

Rosamund Pike was the standout actor, but everyone else wasn’t far behind.  Affleck showed he can be both dark and charming, while Tyler Perry provided many scenes with exceptional laughing moments.  Even Nick’s twin sister Margo, played by The Leftover’s Carrie Coon was excellent.  Every character has their dark spots, while remaining sympathetic and tragic.

o-GONE-GIRL-900I’m sure you get it by now.  The movie is fantastically shot and acted, unpredictable, and leaves you feeling like you’ve finally dove into the deep end.  And while Boyhood was a great film and it’s not right to compare, I’d have to say the Gone Girl is the best American film to come out this year, and although there are serious competitors coming out during the new “Oscar Season”, Gone Girl may finish as the Best Picture Nom in February.

Written by the novel’s author Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher and stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, Scoot McNairy, and Tyler Perry.

The Good

+ Acting is top teir

+ Typical Fincher precision

+ Just when you start getting comfortable, the film hits you with surprise

+ Funnier than one would imagine, balancing a dark story in extremely clever ways.


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