Gone Girl
Acting
Directing
Script
Cinematography
Timeless
4.6Overall Score

So, there it is … Ben Affleck and David Fincher are kicking off my personal Oscar season of 2014. Given that I am getting married next week, this was probably the perfect movie to watch. 149 minutes of wedding nirvana packaged in one of the best thrillers I have seen in a long time. Thanks to a combination of great filmmaking by David Fincher, a fantastic screenplay of what must be an even better book Gillian Flynn, a solid Ben Affleck performance and an outstanding and 100% nomination performance of the gone girl Rosamunde Pike. But let’s get to it piece by piece…my pet peeves with big Hollywood productions – despite my love for them – are always the same and then the quality of the movie has to pay the price for it. First off the trailer typically gives away way too much plot line, and the movie ends up being way too long just to keep up with the details of the novel. And well, here is the good news, this movie does none of it. The trailer is awesome and the long duration keeps you highly engaged at all times. Over night, I thought about how to write a review for this film without giving too much away and in the end I decided that it is not really possible to do so. Dissecting the good, the bad and the ugly will require a certain amount of spoiling – so I will divide the review into two zones – spoiler and non-spoiler (and I will hide the spoiler, so you have to actively click on it to read it).

Non-Spoilers

Courtesy of http://rollingstone.com

Courtesy of http://rollingstone.com

From the very first minute until the very end the film always finds the perfect pace and atmosphere. It is as slow as it needs to make the search for “Gone Girl” cringing enough but without it getting tiring for the audience – there I have to yet again say bravo to David Fincher who is still one of the best in Hollywood. The atmosphere keeps being somewhat claustrophobic and depressing to emphasize the situation the main cast is finding itself in. For a long time, I have not been watching a movie which kept me guessing at what is happening next in such a meticulous way. Both Flynn and Fincher found a great balance of creating the perfect arch to build suspension, release it at times and then completely surprise you again. And as already stated all acting capacities deliver really good performances both the main cast – where Rosamunde Pike definitely is the more complex and interesting character but also the supporting cast is blending in perfectly with Neil Patrick Harris finally having his first big Hollywood appearance where he yet again plays Barney – only in a slightly different scenario. Alright, I think that is about all I can say without spoiling and if you don’t want to read any further I can only tell you one thing…Go see this movie and also go and see it in theaters as long as it is possible. Moving on into spoilers.

gone-girl-movie-picture-3

Courtesy of http://stickytrigger.com

As I said when watching the trailer, I was completely led to believe that this movie will actually show me a Ben Affleck sociopath and that notion is being kept up for quite some time in the movie. However it also keeps you guessing, is Ben Affleck’s character just a fool who doesn’t know how to behave in a crisis situation in front of the cameras. Is he happy with the disappearance of his wife or is something else off? In parallel to this development, the screenplay beautifully let Rosamunde Pike’s (aka Amazing Amy) character describe the development of their marriage which went from complete super-duper happiness with lovemaking in all available rooms in NYC to sadness culminating in desperation and fear for your own life in a sad suburb of Midwest Missouri. The voice of Amazing Amy is just so perfect for this way of storytelling because it always sounds very matter-of-fact with small nuances of the mentioned feelings. Then Fincher hits you with the first surprise of Ben Affleck’s infidelity which comes not fully as a surprise but makes the like him even less and strengthens Amy’s case of actually being fearful and unhappy wife caught in her desperate life. And here is where I have to say chapeau to the writing of both screenplay and probably novel; the first really big twist of the movie meets the audience i.e. that Gone Girl has actually gone voluntarily with a perfectly laid out plan to destroy the life of her unfaithful husbands. However, the movie does not reveal enough about the characters motives for the audience to take any sides, Amazing Amy may still be the “good” girl. Only as the movie develops further, it becomes clear that she is a vicious, cold and calculating man-eater. And that is where the Oscar nomination of Rosamunde Pike has to come in; playing a vulnerable book writer is one thing, transforming from that into psychopath who makes herself ugly and then transforms back is a completely other thing – thus she is the true masterpiece of this film. Neil Patrick Harris’ performance made everyone chuckle in the theater as he basically is playing his HIMYM character again only with the nuance of not being the strong A-type male but being a little submissive and finding himself not coming out on top when leaving the bedroom. Once it is clear what the plot line of Amazing Amy is, one keeps being amazed about how well she had planned everything out and how well she can react to unplanned changes – undoubtedly Amazing Amy would be the perfect project manager. As the movie goes along, Fincher keeps hitting you with twists who keep the audience biting their nails and even when the movie comes to its final steps, the tension and the stakes are still very high.  And boy, that final shot closing the loop of the film is just so perfect and rounds up a perfect movie night … and made me look so much more forward to next week when my wife is making an honest man out of me. Hopefully I don’t see too many post-its too soon 🙂

 

The Good

  • Perfect atmosphere, balance and pacing by Fincher and Flynn
  • Rosamunde Pike delivers at least a nomination worthy performance
  • Intelligent script with perfect suspension arch
  • Best thriller in a long time

The Bad

  • Not too much to say, movie is close to perfect so go and see it

Info
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Courtesy of http://impawards.com

Courtesy of http://impawards.com

  • Running time: 149 min
  • Genre: Drama, Thriller
  • Year: 2014

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