As we drive steadily towards the holiday season, more and more we see these impressive films that are bidding for those Oscar nominations. Actors break out of their type-casting, writers create outrageous and heartbreaking dialogue, and directors pull out all the stop to make the film unforgettable. As early as October we start see these movie rear their head from the rest of the line up, and none have made quite as big as a splash as this novel adaptation fighting so hard for a screenwriting and lead acting Oscar you wonder if their press packet has a short essay on why it deserves a nomination.
Let’s take a look at Gone Girl.
The story follows Nick and Amy, a married couple that looks perfect in every way, which means that there is some deep shit to be found in the cracks in their foundation. Amy goes missing and suddenly all clues are pointing to Nick, though there’s more to the story there. However, because the movie treats it like this huge surprise so I cannot, in good conscience, tell you what goes down but trust me, there’s no fluffy filler in these two and a half hours (though, at parts, it does drag).
I will say that the story itself is engaging as all Hell. It’s well written in both scenario and dialogue. It helps a lot that the author of the original book, Gillian Flynn, wrote the screenplay. David Fincher always has a good eye for dark and dramatic stories and uses all the right visuals to get across the uneasy atmosphere of being under society’s microscope. The colors will present switch from bright and warm to muted and sombre, which reminds the opposite of the flip side of both stories and adding layers of depth of the visual feel of the film.
Without mentioning spoilers, I will say that I am always a little worried about narratives that make genuine depictions of abuse and domestic violence seem like the plan of a manipulative psychopath woman that was TOO perfect an account to be real. It can detract from people believing actual accounts of domestic abuse, which is just not fair. Does that take away from my enjoyment of the film? Not too much but it is something to keep in mind when watching the movie. If you’re also squeamish about blood, you might want to reconsider watching the movie.
The acting is also pretty top notch. The star, by a long shot, is Rosamund Pike as Amy, the house wife who is way more than she appears on the surface. If there is anyone who can capture scheming and simmering rage behind a perfect smile, it’s Pike. Ben Affleck has proved he has finally gotten out of the funk that Gigli put him in, and in full force. Tyler Perry is in this and, for once, not terrible. Neil Patrick Harris plays one of the creepiest character pretty convincingly for a man with so much charm. Special mention should be made for Carrie Coon, who plays Nick’s sister Margo, who imbues with an air of dry wit and bottled emotion.
Gone Girl is one of the most thrilling films I’ve seen this year. It’s dark, it’s twisted, and, in its own way, is very relatable. It never slips into a dark realm where the motivations of the characters seem to be too evil or too harsh to follow, which is why it’s so enthralling. You wonder what the characters will do next, what they’re feeling and when the awful truth is revealed, you feel scared and relieved at the same time. It may even make you question the nature of your marriage, or even if it’s a good idea to commit your life to one person.
– Strong acting.
– Great writing.
– Drags at some points.