Gone Girl: This Girl is All In—Movie

One word to describe “Gone Girl”—brilliant. Directed by David Fincher with screenplay by Gillian Flynn based on her best-selling novel, “Gone Girl” is story-telling at its very best.

gone_girl_ver2_xlgThe film revolves around the disappearance of Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) and her deeply suspicious-seeming husband, Nick (Ben Affleck). Much of the movie is narrated by Amy giving us her perspective on their marriage as she writes entries into her diary. She relates how the two met (in a bar) and how compatible and happy they were initially in their marriage and NYC life. But when Nick loses his writing position, the marriage slowly begins to disintegrate. Life goes from bad to worse after Nick’s mother becomes ill with cancer and the two move to a Missouri suburb to be closer to her and to Nick’s twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), thus giving up their NYC lifestyle.

As “Gone Girl” begins, Nick leaves his home in the morning to meet with his sister in the bar they own and run together. Although it’s his fifth wedding anniversary day, Nick’s not particularly festive. He seems in a down mood and nothing in their conversation changes that. Nick goes back home where he discovers broken glass in the living room and realizes that his wife is nowhere to be found. Concerned, Nick calls the police and when they come to investigate, he gets the sense that he might be under suspicion. They are intrigued by the fact that although he’s been married for five years, Nick seems to know very little about Amy’s current life and that he seems just a little too vague…a little too glib. When the two investigating officers, Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Office Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) talk to one another, you know they feel Nick is guilty of something, but without concrete evidence, there is not much more they can do. But then things begin to happen which doesn’t bode well for Nick and his future.

I didn’t read the book, so I can only judge the quality of “Gone Girl” by what I saw on the screen and what I viewed was almost movie perfection. The directing, the acting, the script and the music…all come together in the most compelling manner to keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire length of the film.

The part of Nick seems as if it was written with Ben Affleck, not Scott Peterson, in mind…he is that good. There is something about Nick’s personality that seems to suit Affleck to a tee. He is terrific at making his character come off as  just a tad too smug and slick, even when he’s trying so hard to be seen as earnest. Normally Affleck is at his best when he directs himself, but in Fincher, he might just have found his soul mate. Rosamund Pike, while beautiful, has never over impressed in films past. But in “Gone Girl” she simply astounds. She goes from innocent to sinister to innocent again so quickly and convincingly it makes your head spin. Her work with Affleck and most especially Neil Patrick Harris, as her one-time boyfriend, Desi Collings, is just fabulous. And speaking of Neil Patrick Harris, his performance as Desi is wonderful. It’s easy to believe that since his long-ago breakup with Amy he has become master of his universe. Both Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens lend a lot of strength to “Gone Girl” in their supporting roles. Tyler Perry is also terrific as Nick’s lawyer, Tanner Bolt. He manages to capture the spirit of famed attorneys Johnnie Cochran and Gloria Allred. Finally, Missi Pyle’s portrayal of television magpie, Ellen Abbot, is a delicious hoot as she channels Nancy Grace.

David Fincher has done a spectacular job in creating the feeding frenzy, media saturated coverage of crimes that capture the nation’s fancy. But what’s even more noteworthy is how he has managed to keep the movie intimate at the same time. While all the craziness is going on, he never lets you forget that a possible crime has been committed and really gives you the feel of how and why certain characters have turned out the way they have…be it through their back-story or actions in the present. In addition to Flynn’s fabulous script, the icing on “Gone Girl’s” cake is its creepy score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross which lends just the right touch of malevolence.

Nothing is perfect, but “Gone Girl” is at close as it comes. It’s simply terrific.

4 nuggets out of 4




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One Response to “Gone Girl: This Girl is All In—Movie”

  1. thycriticman Says:

    I did some research on the book and I preferred how they built the ending there better. However, I still loved the hell out of the movie. You make a very good point about Ben…his character suits him so well.

    I’m glad you appreciated the performance from Harris as well. A lot of people are negative on it…


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