Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)
  • Time: 145 min
  • Genre: Drama | Mystery | Thriller
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris


Nick Dunne, a small town guy who made good in the big city as a magazine writer blames the recession and the loss of his job for the decline of his marriage to his intellectually superior wife with a substantial trust fund. Questions of his motives and character begin to arise after his wife’s disappearance on the morning of their fifth anniversary. As the search for his missing wife plays out over the ensuing days, guilty suspicions are fueled into a national frenzy by the media circus camped outside his house. Is this idyllic, everyman truly capable of murdering his wife?


  • Image is everything. Perception becomes reality. What do you think of a husband who gazes down on his lovely wife and wonders, “What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?” Do you think him romantic? Reflective? Regretful? What if he wants to crack open his wife’s skull to discover those answers? Such a violent description. What do you think of him then?

    The man is Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and he has come home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) gone. There are signs of a struggle in the living room and blood splatter in the kitchen. “Should I be concerned?” he asks Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit), who are baffled by his remove and lack of knowledge of his wife’s daily life. “Are you sure you’re married?” Gilpin quips.

    Click here for the complete review

  • I personally found the film to be fantastic. The atmosphere and the directing was close to flawless, and David Fincher really does use his experience well, especially in getting great performances out of the whole cast – and actually made me want to see more of Tyler Perry. Praise is obviously deserved to Fincher and the whole cast.

    Rosemund Pike is a step above everyone. Her take on the twisted character was great and she will indefinitely hands down win Best Actress (Unless Anne Hathaway pulls off a miracle in Interstellar). Ben Affleck also surprised the haters and had a really convincing performance. Neil Patrick Harris played the role he is best at – The rich asshole. Great casting choices and great directing to go along with the plot twist that completely reverses the film and turns it on it’s head.

    The movie would have been perfect if it actually ending with closure, rather than leaving it open and letting the audience decide the conclusion.

    It worked well with Inception, Memento, Fight Club etc, but with this movie, I feel like it needed a proper ending to fully close the story. Still a great movie, definitely worth watching. 9/10!

  • When his wife, ‘Amazing Amy’ goes missing, Nick Dunne is thrust into the spotlight as the main suspect in the investigation due to his apathetic nature. The more he appears guilty, the more the media shine the spotlight on him, but is Nick the killer they’re all making him out to be? Gone Girl is based off the novel of the same name, by Gillian Flynn, who also adapted it for this film.

    Gone Girl is an incredibly gripping story from start to finish, while there are some minor plot holes, it’s easy to forgive and enjoy it for the spectacle it is. If there is any director to create such a strange but riveting film, it’s David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who does a brilliant job bringing this story to life. With it being two and a half hours long, make sure your bladder is empty and you’re wide awake, because you will not want to miss a second of this thriller.

    Click here for the full review

  • If you’ve seen the trailer for this movie or any of Fincher’s others, you will know that this movie is going to have its twists and turns. In addition to Fincher’s attention to detail with every element of what is on the screen, it also boils down to the script by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the novel. Her own adaptation is flawless (but then again, it should be).

    Read the full review: http://thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/gone-girl.html

  • The movie was first brought to my attention by David Fincher’s name, unsurprisingly. Every film he puts out is absolutely top notch. Not just top-notch, but every movie he makes feels like a special event. I was underwhelmed with the pitched premise; abducted wife and a media circus, mainly because it been done a thousand times before. However, just like every Fincher movie, it’s not quite as simple as that. As a result, any specifics or examples I mention will likely take place in the first act of the movie, roughly the first half. To mention any more would spoil the whole movie.

    So yeah, Nick Dunne awakens one morning, puts out the bins, and then heads to the bar he owns with his twin sister. Once he returns, his wife is missing and there’s sign of a struggle. What ensues is, as I mentioned, a media circus surrounding her disappearance. The police are suspicious of Nick when he doesn’t give the right answers, and the media are suspicious when he doesn’t act entirely remorseful. Then about halfway through the movie we’re hit with a massive twist, which I won’t spoil, which then dictates the rest of the movie. Not only does this mid-way twist dictate the second half of the movie, but it completely changes everything. It’s a twist in the truest sense of the word. From then on it just escalates and escalates.

    The story itself is absolutely phenomenal. It lures you in, gets you invested, and then hits you over the head with a puppet handle and veers off in a completely different direction than you’d expect. Fortunately though, Gone Girl isn’t just good entertainment. It has something to say as well. The most obvious theme is that of media portrayals. We get to know Nick reasonably well. He’s no model citizen, but he comes off as a genuinely nice guy for the most part. By the time the media starts accusing him of being a murderer and incestuous with his twin sister, you genuinely feel sorry for the guy. By the end Nick is having to put on a facade in order to create a false vision of himself for the public eye so that they like him and sympathise with him.

    The more subtle theme, however, is that of marriage and relationships. Truth be told, this is what Gone Girl is really about. It’s about Nick the husband and Amy the wife and their marriage, and what it has made them do. “What have we done to each other?” is one of the opening lines of the movie, and it’s a telling one at that. Of course, to get the point across, it’s grossly exaggerated. I mean this certainly isn’t a look at your standard, average marriage, but it takes elements common in marriage and completely blows them out of proportion.

    This exaggeration does create some moments of subtle comedy, it has to be said. There were more than a few times where I found myself stifling a laugh. Although I have to stress I was stifling it, because no-one else in the cinema seemed to find it funny. While there were one or two standard jokes, most of the humourous elements actually came from subtle satire, or it was all-out dark comedy with profuse amounts of blood and everything.

    Acting was top-notch from everyone. Ben Affleck once again proves he’s a good and worthy actor. And at no point do you feel he’s being ungenuine (apart from when his character is putting on a facade, of course). He manages to balance the nuances of rage and grief, and gets the audience to really empathise with him, even though he’s not exactly a heroic figure. Rosamund Pike likewise deserves plenty of praise as her portrayal of the missing wife. She’s been around for a while, but always either in small movies or small roles. Hopefully now she’ll get the recognition she deserves. The other actor I feel needs more attention is Carrie Coon as Nick’s twin sister Margo, who’s been likewise ripping it up in The Leftovers (which is on tonight in the UK, no less). She’s a reasonably new face, but it’s easy to see how she managed to land this as her first movie role, and it’s not a small role either. In fact she probably gets as much screen time as leading lady Rosamund Pike.

    Finally, I’ll lump the visuals and music together because, honestly, it’s the David Fincher style. He’s had the same cinemtographer (Jeff Cronenweth) and soundtrack composers (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) for his last three movies (this, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network). As with the previous movies, the visuals and music complement each other to perfection, but individually they certainly deserve praise by themselves. The cinematography is absolutely spot on, once again very muted with special attention paid to how each and every scene is framed and composed. It’s a beautiful film to look at. The soundtrack again is electronic-based, although not particularly dancey. It carves out it’s own auditory individuality compared to every other movie whilst still hitting all the same beats that it should – creating tension, elevating scenes of significance, and sounding good as well (of course)

    Gone Girl is yet another David Fincher movie worthy of the label of masterpiece. How he manages to keep such a high quality so consistently is beyond me. The writing is tight, the story is thoroughly engaging, the acting is award-worthy, the film looks and sounds great, and through this serious story, it manages to still inject some humour. Gone Girl deserves no less than a prideful 9/10 rating.

  • What a crazy and sick movie! First off, the acting in this movie is great. All around great. Rosamund Pike gives what should be an Oscar nominated performance. A lot of the movie is told through flashbacks of things she wrote in her journal and it’s so engaging and I just wanted to figure out everything I could about her and the people she surrounded herself with. Also Ben Affleck gives a surprisingly impressive performance (as well as unsurprising since Fincher always gets the absolute best out of his actors), and so does the rest of the cast like Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. But what really is the most impressive aspect of this film to me is the work done by the great David Fincher. Every shot in the film is so meticulously crafted and cared for that sets up the dark mysterious tone of the film. The cinematography gives an overall dreadful atmosphere which sets you on edge, leading to the climax of the film. There is virtually no way you will predict where this movie is going, and when you think you have. Despite a running-time of over 145-minutes, ‘Gone Girl’ doesn’t offer a single dull moment. Don’t Miss It.

  • Whenever I hear a rumors about an Oscar contention about a movie that I haven’t seen it yet and I do not feel any type of interest after watching a trailer, I always come to a screening unsure what to expect and often my assumption is, that probably I will not like the movie. Specially if two main actors playing the leads do not belong to the group of actors I normally would spend the money to see. Mostly mainstream entertainment can be quite shallow, directed to mass audience which often is interested in form of easy going escapism rather then intellectual pursuit. I knew that “Gone Girl” was directed by David Fincher, director whom I deeply admire for his body of work, but anyone can have a bad day or a movie in his case. Fincher started in the commercial world and was known for his unique sense of visually narrative style that eventually translated in to a big Hollywood feature film career, arguably becoming top 5 best director in the business. Ben Affleck on the other hand is not my cup of tea. I always felt that he is overrated as an actor (his brother Casey Affleck in my opinion is much better actor) but got a second chance as a director and I think that is were he can develop further considering his earlier directorial success with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and specially Oscar winning Argo. Based on the casting alone I really thought that I will hate “Gone Girl” but how wrong was I. I underestimated intelligence of David Fincher and his understanding of the fact that movies are made in casting. What I mean by that, is that if you hire suitable actors to play a characters that in some way might be a part of who they are in real life they will be able to bring that persona to life and create a performances that are not forced, but rooted in truth, honed by the director who slowly becomes observer instead a parent figure that has to teach them how to act, or safe their performance in editing room. Rosamond Pike might get the nomination. The fact of her giving up on her vanity will help with that.

    “On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?”

    To be accurate with assessment of this film one word can describe in detail and that is SMART. Yes indeed!!! For movie that is 150 minutes long and you enjoy every minute of it, in fact you want more, that is success in itself. I will not write in-depth about the twists and turns of the story to not spoil the experience for you, but all I will say is that “Gone Girl” is arguably the smartest and most complex character driven story of this year and if that is not worth the Oscar contention then I don’t know what is… The acting is superb from all the ensemble, developing reach and multi layered characterizations, staring with snobby yet charming Rosamund Pike who shows her dimensions in more way then one, possibly stealing the movie (and maybe getting Oscar contention in the process) in terms of performance. The support cast shines too but only serving the purpose of helping to unveil the complex story.

    David Fincher’s directorial taste needs to be credited with handling some of the most intense scenes with doze of huge technical know how using sound design and editing pacing of how to stimulate the senses of the audience without venturing in to the territory of the a bad taste. And indeed Fincher might be as Alfred Hitchcock 50 years before him a king of knowing how to build up a tension without reviling to much and keeping the audience guessing till the final scene. Big credit should also go to the editor Kirk Baxter who lets the scenes just run enough and stops them almost before most editors would, creating sense of anticipation and hight state of tension. This is why the pacing is just right and in general you can see that Fincher has a musical ear having music video background. By watching “Gone Girl” another Fincher’s movie comes to mind The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which is a remake of 2009 Swedish drama thriller based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson (Män som hatar kvinnor – literally – Men who hate women) Indeed both films have a lot in common and that is the antipathy towards women. I don’t know Fincher’s family life, but judging from the movies he is selecting he might have some scorn towards female kind. Judgment aside “Gone Girl” is truly a movie that will surprise you and make you wonder were is the story going in the age of remakes and scripts written by the numbers. It is a refreshing breath of fresh air, through perspective on genre that needed oxygen for quite some time.

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  • Gone Girl 5/10: Not since I saw Prisoners last year have I felt the way I felt after seeing Gone Girl. In certain parts it makes you feel horrified by what happened and how they showed it happening. It is probably the darkest film I have ever seen. For what it is though, it was very well put together. With creepy good acting from Rosamund Pike and well guided directing from David Fincher, Gone Girl successfully disturbs you throughout the whole film.

    Quick note: For those of you that read the book, the author of Gone Girl also helped write the film and in order to keep the readers interested, she changed the storyline and the ending.

    The reason I may not sound super enthused about this review is because I am not a very big fan of dark movies or scary movies in general. They just are too creepy for me. If you love those kind of films, I could not think of a better choice for you than Gone Girl. As far as what I thought the film could have done better, I cannot think of much other than to try to put a little more comedy in it so it would not feel so dark for such a long time. This way it would be able to appeal to much wider audiences.

    The acting speaks for itself in Gone Girl. Ben Affleck does a good job playing the pyscho, unlucky husband. Rosamund Pike does an amazing job convinces us that she is certifiably insane.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/gone-girl.html

  • David Fincher has long been the successor to Alfred Hitchcock’s crown of the ‘Master of Suspense’. His style of directing is unique and unmatched by any other director. Over the years he’s given us some brilliant thought-provoking movies like Fight Club, suspenseful thrillers like Panic Room, The Game, Se7en, He brought the story of Facebook to the big screen in the form of ‘The Social Network’, which in my opinion is the greatest biopic ever made. Time after time he’s been given the task of adapting a novel to the silver screen (Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), and on all three occasions he has been up to the task, With Gone Girl he attempts to do the same thing.

    Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel of the same name, Gone Girl tells the story of Nick Dunne and how he becomes the attention of a media circus after the disappearance of his wife Amy Dunne, his strange behavior begins to make many people suspect the worst, Did he kill her? The film stars; Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, Rosamunda Pike as his wife Amy Dunne as well as Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens. Gone Girl in my opinion is right up there among with Fincher’s very best. Fincher crafts this movie with such amazing skill that it’s wonderful to watch. He reveals us this intricate mystery slowly and but manages to keep the audience intrigued throughout with multiple twists and turns and makes us question what we had seen earlier on every turn. Ben Affleck is great here, his performance is truly fantastic, a commendable effort but it was Rosamunda Pike’s gripping and haunting performance that really captivated me, her character and how it is revealed before us makes for truly engaging viewing. Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens are all very good in their supporting roles, particularly Perry as Nick’s hotshot lawyer Tanner Bolt. The script written by Gillian Flynn is also a particularly fantastic one, and she manages to condense just about everything important into the 149 minute run-time. Gone Girl concentrates very heavily on the media element and serves as a very good media satire, perhaps an even better one than ‘Nightcrawler’ and succeeds at satirizing the media perfectly over how they over blow everything out of proportion. While ‘Nightcrawler’ simply had this in the background, it remains a very important part of the story here. The cinematography is wonderful and catches the dark tone of the movie perfectly. I’d also like to add that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s wonderful soundtrack is one of the highlights of the movie and integral in capturing this somber tone.

    If this movie is ever low on anything, it’s logic. As the story twists and turns the events that transpire on-screen aren’t very believable for the viewer and the story seems to feel a little far fetched towards the end. The ending is perhaps another thing that might anger some people. And in my opinion Gone Girl has one of the most divisive movie endings ever.

    In conclusion, Gone Girl is a dark and brilliant thriller that benefits from David Fincher’s taut direction, Amazing performances from Rosamunda Pike and Ben Affleck and an engrossing script by Gillian Flynn, even if it goes against logic sometimes. Ultimately, Gone Girl is not only one of the best films of David Fincher’s career, but also of the best ones of 2014.

    Final Score: 9.5/10

    -Khalid Rafi

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  • Warning: this review contains spoilers. If you like your reviews sans spoilers, I would suggest you read no further. I apologize for this but in order to justify a mixed, two and a half star rating, I have to include a few of them from time to time.

    On that note, I just wanna start off things by saying that David Fincher is for the most part, a brilliant director. If you tap him to helm films that are based on true stories or events, he shines. 2014’s Gone Girl is his latest foray into all that’s dark and dangerous. Unfortunately, it’s not based on true events but rather on a best selling novel by Gillian Flynn. Along with “Gone” (the flick I’m reviewing) and 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (another novel turned into cinematic fodder), Finch dives into themes that although look good on paper, left me uninterested, exasperated, and in need of a shower. Sure his marks as a prominent taskmaster are all over the project (lots of wide shots, great musical score collaborations with Trent Reznor, smooth camera tracking in terms of movement) and “Gone’s” first forty five minutes are moody and involving. But because his newest release has to stay so faithful to the novel it’s based upon, well we get a plot point that completely deflates any dramatic momentum that could have been sustained. If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve probably figured out that this movie is about the disappearance of an unemployed, female writer. At a screening Saturday night, I found out early on that’s she’s not dead and I guess hasn’t really disappeared. This kept me at arm’s length from coming up with any sort of reason to a recommend this thing. It’s well done, well acted, and stylish. But despite all this, it still manages to come off like a limp Forensic Files episode coupled with a thriller masquerading as soap opera innuendo.

    Produced by Reese “I need a hit movie stat” Witherspoon and clocking in at roughly two and a half hours, Gone Girl chronicles a married couple living in rural Missouri. The Dunnes (Nick and Amy Dunne played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) are initially living a quiet life as they move from New York City to the Midwest. They are there mainly to take care of Nick’s dying mother. They are sort of unemployed and their marriage is I guess, on the outs. One day on their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife goes missing and everyone assumes that he either killed her or kidnapped her. This causes some cold-hearted detectives to get involved and an unnecessarily large media frenzy to develop. Nick is interrogated to the point where it’s repetitive and the cops are constantly camped out at his house looking for forensic evidence. Eventually, he is forced to live with his ill-tempered, twin sister (Margo Dunne played by Carrie Coon) until everything eventually blows over. In truth, Affleck’s Nick gets put through the ringer throughout. To say that this dude is having a bad week, is a glaring understatement.

    Of note: I think the acting in Gone Girl is close to being of the highest order. I mean I’ve never thought of Ben Affleck as anything special (except for his triumphant turn as a bully in 1993’s Dazed and Confused) but he is very effective here. His character is easily vulnerable and manipulated. You can clearly see the distention in his face. In fact, he’s probably the only person in “Gone” I considered likable. Everyone else played their parts well. However, they were intolerable to the nth degree (the script might be the culprit). For instance, lets examine Tyler Perry’s character, Tanner Bolt (Nick’s attorney). Perry is quietly efficient in his role as Tanner but he is constantly seen giving Affleck’s Nick bad advice. He tells Nick to stay married to a cold blooded killer for money, huh? Plus, he throws candy at Nick while he’s trying to practice an interview for a television appearance. What a jerk. Then we have Nick’s wife Amy played by budding star Rosamund Pike. She’s good enough to garner an Academy Award nomination in the same vein as Rooney Mara did with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s physical appearance, it’s physical transformation, and just plain weirdness that might get her the nod. There are scenes where I caught her looking into the camera that really chilled me to the bone. Veteran actress Kim Dickens really comes into her own playing a nagging detective who seems to badger Affleck’s Nick at every turn. She gets the film’s best dialogue but she’s about annoying as anyone you’re likely to find in a crime thriller. Her Rhonda Boney is like a pestering gnat that just won’t go away. But hey, I’m thinking Dickens could possibly get an award nomination of some sort. Just a hunch. Finally, there’s Affleck’s character’s sister played by Carrie Coon. She overacts, overreaches, and you want her to just stay completely out of frame. First she’s with Nick, then she’s against Nick, then she’s yelling at Nick, then she’s joking with him, then she’s looking to persecute him. Just go away woman! Go away!

    Now for the most part, Fincher has always been solid with his actors and with as much creative control as he can handle, this Denver born director employs a lot of aptitude from his more better films (to facilitate “Gone”). For instance, he adds flashbacks here like he did almost completely in The Social Network (“Network” is in fact one giant, brilliant flashback all together). He also adds a lot of nervous, biting humor like in his 2007 killer thriller, Zodiac. “Gone” falls short of the aforementioned vehicles because at times, the script by actual writer Flynn contains dialogue that doesn’t quite sound the way actual human beings talk. And it doesn’t help that Flynn’s screenplay is littered with (not intentionally I suppose) laughable sex scenes between Affleck and Pike’s spousal couple. Look for a tryst where they indiscreetly get it on in a library. Talk about bad manners.

    Queasy, suggestive dialogue and cartoony sex scenes aside, I found it interesting that this whole movie is bent on harassing Affleck’s Nick and insulting our intelligence into thinking that he actually killed his wife. And when his eerie looking better half is the one who ends up committing actual murder, well she gets off scot-free without any real investigation. Her psychotic behavior is clearly on video and it blatantly shows her cutting some one’s throat with your standard box cutter. Nonsense. Pure nonsense I tell you.

    I mean let’s face it, “Gone” is absurd to the point where it takes itself way too seriously. The events depicted seem to be the only darn thing on the television (playing loudly in the background of almost every scene). In reality, the story of this married couple wouldn’t really be fleshed out, national news. Pike’s Amy is what you call an B-list celebrity (she wrote children’s books I guess) and Affleck’s Nick, well he’s a stultified bar owner. Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco they surely ain’t.

    In conclusion, director David Fincher can do no wrong when he is able to take a simple subject, darken and deepen it a bit, and develop what’s on screen into a full blown masterpiece. With Gone Girl, the material is already sullen and twisted enough. As a result, his vision gets compromised and it resorts to being fully overblown. It basically becomes too much. “Girl” will inevitably arise as 2014’s poster child for psychological mumbo jumbo overload. Instead of being mesmerized and taken by it, you’ll just feel icky inside (I know I did). I mean, I literally felt guilty wanting to know how things were going to end. And to be honest, you shouldn’t by swayed by the title. Gone Girl doesn’t really involve a missing person. It’s about a female character who is far too “gone” and needs to be put in some sort of institution. Am I accurate in saying that Pike’s Dunne is your typical cuckoo bird crazytown? I sure as heck hope so.

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  • David Fincher has made a career of showing us his extremely dark vision of the world in which we live. Even his films that don’t call for such an approach, such as 2010’s exhilarating story of the forming of Facebook, The Social Network, are infused with a grimness that combines clever editing, flawless cinematography and a twisted score (here by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to achieve its purpose. Gone Girl, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn (who also adapted it for the screen) is no exception. It’s seemingly formulaic tale of a girl gone missing starts with all the familiar genre tropes, but soon turns into something infinitely more contorted, unsettling and thought-provoking.

    Academic underachiever Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his coffee-table smashed, a blood smear in his kitchen, and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) gone without a trace. He’s generally a laid-back sort of guy, but his lethargy soon puts him under suspicion by investigators Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Gilpin (Patrick Fugit). A media frenzy soon descends upon him, as his inability to act appropriately in front of the prying cameras and the mounting circumstantial evidence leads to a social media witch-hunt. Support from his twin sister Margo (the excellent Carrie Coon) leads to ridiculous allegations of ‘twincest’, so Nick is forced to reach deep into his pockets to hire superstar defence attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry).

    Around the half-way mark, a major twist is revealed. It isn’t that hard to figure out, but this isn’t the point. It is merely the next stage of Flynn and Fincher’s dark vision of the sanctity of marriage. Peppered throughout the early scenes are flash-backs involving Amy’s romance and eventual marriage to Nick, with Amy’s narration of her diary entries providing the memories. It’s here that Fincher toys with us the most, placing doubt into the reliability of the narrator, causing you to question our belief in everything we see. But this is no cheap narrative trick. It’s been said that Gone Girl has the power to break up couples, and with the way the movie places doubt into audience’s mind as to how much they truly know their partner, it’s not difficult to see why.

    For an actor who has experienced a difficult time at the hands of the press of late – until he reinvented himself as a director (and an Oscar winning one at that) – Affleck surpasses all expectations and puts in the performance of his career. He is perfectly suited to a character who is in no way totally likeable or even sympathetic – he cheats on his wife and has become a layabout due to money troubles) – but his mixture of smugness and disillusion makes him a perfect and easy target for the witch-hunters. But the film belongs to Pike. A brave choice given that she’s mainly used in supporting roles, she is a mixture of the beautiful, intimidatingly intelligent, and just plain terrifying.

    As the credits roll, you may be staring open-mouthed at the screen trying to figure out what the hell you have just witnessed. One shocking burst of violence especially jolts the film onto another level. The film stayed with me for a long time after, and it seemed implausible, glossy and almost like a soap opera. But Fincher pulls apart the idea of the happy, all-American family in a similar way to David Lynch. It may all be smiles and expensive lunch dates on the surface, but if you dig deeper, you may just find something horrifying. It’s a commentary on America’s tendency to put people on a trial by media, the loss of privacy due to social networking, the laughable idea of the ‘nuclear family’, and just a bloody good story to boot. This is Fincher’s finest work since Zodiac (2007).

    Rating: 5/5

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  • “I will practice believing my husband loves me, but I could be wrong.”

    There are two sides to every story, and director David Fincher does his damnest to make sure you’re fully engrossed in both sides.

    Whether or not you’ve read Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl (I haven’t), fans of the novel attest that the film adaptation doesn’t stray far from it’s source material. When Amy Dunne mysteriously goes missing, her husband becomes the central focus of her disappearance during a media blitz covering her story.

    There’s a lot of meat to the core of the story as well as debate–is this a misogynist film, does it have a misanthropic view on marriage? Gone Girl may have sparked questions and raised a few eyebrows, but it has unanimously garnered praise from moviegoers; I haven’t really heard a single complaint on the Internet about this film. While it’s not my favorite Fincher flick, it’s strengths outweigh it’s weaknesses. This is a smart film that’s going to make you think, have you talking about it for a while and leave you fully unsettled with what you just watched. Here are my top reasons to see Gone Girl.

    If Gone Girl accomplishes anything perfectly, it captures the blatant satire of the media in our lives controlling how we base our decisions on personal affairs. Is Nick Dunne a murderer or a framed husband? The media becomes a villain against Dunne who is framed by his wife in an elaborate scheme. In order to protect himself and salvage his innocence, Dunne must manipulate the media with the help of his suave, big-shot attorney Tanner Bolt (well-executed by Tyler Perry). When media coverage of Dunne’s mistress breaks, Dunne sets up an exclusive interview with NCB personality Sharon Schieber (played by Sela Ward). Dunne uses television as a platform for viewers around the country to believe in his innocence. He morphs into a trained professional at tackling critical media scrutiny–he learns a script, masters how to use appropriate movement in conversation and even grasps how to emotionally express believable sorrow. He uses the media not only to admit his infidelities and his guilt over losing Amy, but as a platform to reach out to Amy and acknowledge her kidnapper. Nick Dunne becomes a trained pro at how to play the media game, and Ben Affleck scores at embodying this claiming to have modeled his character on convicted killer Scott Peterson.

    Underneath most of the well-written screenplays for Fincher films is a pitch-black humor that arouses uneasy laughter from audiences. The cat and mouse game plays out accordingly, but outside of the obvious smirks we give (like listening to the Nancy Grace-inspired TV personality), there a few lines that had me cracking up, but also made me re-think what the hell was going on? Modern America is terribly dark, and how well-suited to add humor to the verbage of this script. Hilarious quotes include:

    Tanner Bolt: “You two are the most fucked up people I’ve ever met and I deal with fucked up people for a living.”
    Nick Dunne: [to Amy] “You. Fucking. Bitch.”
    Margo Dunne: “Whoever took her is bound to bring her back.”
    “A lot of people lacked that gift: knowing when to fuck off.”

    Let’s get one thing straight–I typically hate trailers, but I loathed every commercially released teaser for Gone Girl. Too obvious? Exactly! But that’s what Fincher wants, and he succeeds. The trailer is selling Ben Affleck’s character as the murderer and Rosamund Pike’s character as the victim, because it looks believable. Media selling a lie? Bingo! Everyone anticipated some colossal twist, but little did we know how early in the film it would be and to what extent it would take. It far surpasses the norm and digs deeper and deeper until the end. Your mind will be blown.

    Rosamund – Who? is likely the reaction of many viewers, but believe it or not, Pike’s been in the business for years now. What you’re experiencing is her big break in Hollywood. The British beauty was a Bond girl in Die Another Day, the eldest Bennet daughter in Pride and Prejudice and (my favorite) the party girl from An Education. She won the sought after lead role that was considered for the likes of Reese Witherspoon to Charlize Theron to Natalie Portman.

    Fincher always has powerful characters portrayed by brilliant actors. What’s great about his actors is that, like Rosamund Pike, many of them are obscure or more underground delivering an extraordinary performance that Fincher yanks out of them. Even the likes of ordinary Ben Affleck can perform well under the guide of Fincher, and I’m not one of Affleck’s biggest fans.

    According to Every Frame A Painting’s Tony Zhou, it’s not about what Fincher does onscreen; it’s all about what he doesn’t do that makes his filmmaking exceptional. Even if Fincher produces another book-to-film adaptation, I’ll see it because it’s a Fincher film, and I know he has the power to create a masterpiece out of even the most drab material.

  • Three years ago, director David Fincher adapted another best selling novel onto the big screen with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and elevated the novel as much as the source material allowed him too. Perhaps if the novel focused less on the violence and more on the investigation, Fincher would of had more to work with. Gone Girl does not give those same limitations. Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel Gone Girl carefully reveals the peeling of each layer of its mystery, as if you needed a scrap piece of paper while you read to keep track with each character’s movements. Now for readers who have kept their scrap paper patiently and excitedly waiting for the adaptation of the film are going to be quite upset as the the adaptation will have a new third act that Flynn personally wrote just for the film. That alone can scare anticipated viewers but the only thing they should fear is their marriage turning out anything like Amy and Nick Dunne’s.

    On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

    As I walked out the theater from seeing Gone Girl, I was asked from a stranger what the film was about. That my ladies and gentlemen, was the hardest question I was asked that night. Not because I had no idea what I just saw but it is almost impossible to describe the plot without spoiling it. Fincher keeps you guessing for the first hour of the film before it takes the sharpest u-turn that I have ever seen, pushing the film in a new direction. Even with a new direction almost half way into the lengthy 145 minutes length film, Fincher is still assembling a puzzle which image doesn’t get completed until the final minutes.

    Time is not relevant in Gone Girl as Flynn creates a fractured time scheme within her novel then Fincher and herself were able to translate perfectly for the big screen. The film starts off on Nick and Amy’s fifth anniversary. As Nick arrives back home after a drive he finds his house looking like a crime scene and his wife is missing. As the police arrive and start investigating the house for any clues, the viewers are given the first of many flashbacks of different stages and points of Amy and Nick’s relationship. The flashbacks begins with happy moments but slowly starts focusing on the fall out and their fall out was steep. In fact, we find out that Amy has kept a diary over the years which details her growing fear that husband might be planning to kill her. As the investigation continues, Nick goes from tragic husband to the number one suspect.

    Affleck and Pike could have not been anymore perfect as Nick and Amy. Affleck was perfectly cast as a handsome, people-pleasing but mischievous husband. He is strong minded man but is not as equally as smart. As he is a man always batting as if he is down a run coming into the bottom of the ninth. Nick has made a lot of mistake within his marriage and has lied to everyone he has ever loved, not just his wife, but does Nick have what it takes to kill “the love of his life”? Pike on the other hand is a perplexed, extravagant, placid woman who was the inspiration of a popular children’s book Amazing Amy written by her parents. But is Pike always at such ease due to her calmness or is because of her sharpness? The supporting cast is just as strong but don’t be mistaken, this picture is all about Affleck and Pike.

    Gone Girl is a treat no matter if you have read the source material or not. If you haven’t read the book, you will be in store for quite a surprise. If you have, you will be pleased with how the movie was adapted onto the big screen. Either way, you will walk out the theater with an unsettled feeling about what marriage is really about as this film covers one of the most gruesome crimes of America; marriage.

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