Gone Girl was one of my most anticipated movies of this fall and oh man did it pay off.
Gone Girl is David Fincher’s newest film starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and others. The plot revolves around Ben Affleck’s character who’s wife (Rosamund Pike’s character) goes missing. At first, everyone feels bad for him, but as the story progresses both the other characters and you start to wonder… Did he do it?
I honestly can’t even go through my usual “cast first, plot/script second, direction, other social implication thoughts, round-up”. Guys, I loved this movie. A lot.
The acting is unbelievably solid in Gone Girl. I really like Ben Affleck because he nailed the perfect line between aggressive jerk and lovable idiot so well that he really comes across as such a normal guy. I honestly don’t know who else I could have imagined playing his role. And Rosamund Pike, oh my God! I’ve seen some critics’ reviews of this movie and they’ve stated she could get nominated for an Oscar for this film. I don’t know if that will actually happen, but I’d love to see it! Regardless, she is a standout performance in a hauntingly beautiful way. Her character is so dark and layered. She’s what I like to call an onion character, and you haven’t heard me use that before because of how uncommon they are. Amy is a character that you think you’ve seen it all but, like an onion, you just keep peeling and peeling and peeling back the layers of her character.
Another performance in this movie that I don’t think was recognized as much by critics was Carrie Coon playing the sister of Nick (Ben Affleck’s character). She was like Nick’s moral compass, almost, and she was meant to be the audiences eyes in the film. You could argue Nick is our eyes, but you don’t know if he did it or not, so you’re learing these new things as she is, making her one of my favorite characters. Another one of the best was Tyler Perry. I almost made a Madea joke there, but he is so confident and collected and straightforward in this film, I honestly could not think of another person to play him. Barney Stinson is in the movie, and he honestly isn’t in it as much as I thought. He’s in like four (4) scenes, and one of them is that very short exchange you see in the trailer. He’s pretty functional in his role though. I’ve been saying for years that he could make the leap to dramatic films and win an Oscar, seriously. Even in How I Met Your Mother, he has some pretty dramatic moments (the one where he meets his dad). He isn’t great in this, but he is very disturbed and his slow tone and smugness works for the film, much like Ben Affleck. Scoot McNairy has a small role in the film too, as a character similar to NPH’s. He was so creepy and ominous for the two scenes he had, I’ll remember this dude’s role. Summary: all the actors, mentioned or not, were just perfect in this movie.
The screenplay? I really hope this movie wins Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards because the script was probably the best of the year so far. Gillian Flynn adapted it herself from her own novel, and you don’t see that much anymore, so props to her. A lot of people have said the movie has great humor, but I don’t know I’d phrase it that way. This is a very dark and disturbing movie, but it does have 5 or 6 very well, strategically placed jokes that work well. No character in this movie is comic-relief for a reason, but the occasional joke grounds it in reality. And the grounding is what separates this movie from other crime-thrillers, like last year’s Prisoners (my third favorite film of last year). Prisoners was a lot more gritty and realistic, but Gone Girl is a lot more grounded and bases as much on character development as plot. I might even say that I like Gone Girl more as of right now.
The best part of this movie, though, is how perfectly the direction fits with the screenwriting. David Fincher is my second favorite director in Hollywood right now (after Christopher Nolan and in-front-of Martin Scorsese) and he knows exactly how to craft each shot. I love the murky style of his that this film had, but I also love some of the new tactics he used. There were flashback scenes in the film, and before each he would fade to black for a millisecond. Usually I hate the fade-to-black effect, but he did it in such a stylistic way. Going off this same point, I love how every character in this movie is relevant. Typically, in a movie like this I’ll say, “that was a great movie, but that character seemed useless.” There’s usually some character that just feels pointless or unnecessary in the movie, but no, no one at all in Gone Girl. There were even a few scenes were one character was interacting with some rude southerners and the southerners didn’t even annoy me. This is one of the few films I can actually say in confidence that is true to.
In the end, Gone Girl was superbly acted, beautifully written and gorgeously directed. It’s by far the most intriguing film of the year, and it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year because Gone Girl is…
So have you guys seen Gone Girl? If you have, what are your thoughts on it, and what’s your favorite David Fincher film? On a side-note, I was thinking on what I’d love to see him make next (after Utopia), and I’d love to see him remake A Murder on the Orient Express. Anyway, whatever those thoughts are and whatever those films may be, let me know down below and as always, thanks for reading guys.