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Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl
10.03.2014
9 10

See Chris Bumbray's video review here!

PLOT: After five years of marriage, a man’s wife mysteriously disappears leaving him a suspect in her presumed murder. The case quickly becomes a media sensation, one that affects everybody connected to the missing woman.

REVIEW: When you take characters that are as unsympathetic as those featured in David Fincher’s latest, GONE GIRL, you take the risk of alienating the audience. Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, the main players involved live in a cynical world without empathy or understanding. Yet together, Fincher and Flynn – who also wrote the screenplay - are able to bring a sense of pulpy fun to this intoxicating and thrilling mystery. Even if you’ve read the book and know the outcome, it is nearly impossible to resist this slick and utterly satisfying thriller.

On his five-year wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) discovers that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared. With signs of a struggle, and Dunne’s seemingly cold and emotionless attitude, suspicion falls upon him. Soon a massive media storm begins affecting Nick, his supportive sister Margo (Carrie Coon), and everybody else involved in the beloved woman’s life. As evidence slowly builds against him, the entanglements of his missing wife and their relationship reveal there is something far more intricate going on than the public and his accusers realize.

As wildly successful as Flynn’s novel may be, it is difficult to reveal much more than that without giving away the secrets which GONE GIRL hides. Suffice it to say that the mysteries surrounding the film will satisfy most, whether or not you are familiar with the material. Thankfully, Fincher handles this delicate work with his usual expertise. While the story itself may relish in the tawdry nature of it all, the director – as he did with THE SOCIAL NETWORK – treats the work respectfully ultimately elevating what could have been a late night cable thriller.

It is interesting to have the novelist write the screenplay as well. And it works. The rich dialogue may seem fictitious at times yet there is a real unnerving power to it. Of course it helps that the performance from each of the actors is able to lend credibility to it all. This is as much a battle of wit, as it is a mysterious tale of ‘did he or didn’t he.’ This is a clever character exploration that offers constant surprises and keeps you guessing at every turn. The final act may run a little long, yet it finishes off with a very satisfying – if purposefully anti-climactic - crescendo.

The story is told from a couple of angles, including passages from the diary created by Amy herself. Never has one diary revealed this much in a mystery since Laura Palmers' was discovered in a little town called “Twin Peaks.” Thankfully, we see part of this story through the lovely Rosamund Pike. And yes, all that you’ve heard is true, she is a revelation here. This is a deeply complex performance, one of the most captivating of the year. In fact, all the women here are given very strong roles and each of them carries through marvelously.

Carrie Coon, who portrays Nick’s sister, is the heart of the film and she and Affleck have beautiful chemistry together. As a conflicted detective torn between her beliefs in Nick’s guilt, Kim Dickens is a commanding presence. Not to be outdone of course, Ben Affleck is intensely strong here. His awkward and occasionally emotionless and cold demeanor lend to the role of a murder suspect perfectly. Neil Patrick Harris is also eerily unnerving as a former lover of Amy who was accused of stalking her. Even the smaller, supporting characters stand out. Missi Pyle is especially slithery as a Nancy Grace type personality obsessed with the case, and quick to spit out vitriol at the guilty until proven innocent husband.

Out of the many avenues this story explores - including the dangerously vicious news media – the idea of marriage gone wrong is succinctly uncovered. What happened to the perfect couple who would give clues for anniversary gifts? How could something so perfect, fall apart so quickly? With financial loss, grief and all the hardship that comes with relationships, it is a fascinating dissection of a troubled romance. This treacherous look at self-involvement and unwillingness to walk together hand-in-hand through the muck is a keen observation of what some call an egocentric age.

GONE GIRL is a nasty little thriller with a cunningly dark sense of humor. As entertaining as it is wicked, both Fincher and Flynn have more than successfully brought it to life. With its sharp wit and one hell of an absorbing score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the sense of dread here is contagious. And then there is Rosamund Pike. Not only is this her finest performance to date, it may be one of the best of the year. Thankfully, the good work is not hers alone. This sure to be successful thriller is likely a pulp classic, a rare thing in modern cinema.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
3:22PM on 10/03/2014

OK what I got from the trailer

I know nothing of the book or the movie, but from the first trailer to the least I thikn one thing is very clear and just in case im right you might want to stop reading and I guess they changed teh ending from the book to the movie so I wouldnt have any idea how it ends. But without a doubt she is alive and faked her own death/disappearance. Ben is going to fin dthat out im guessing somewhere near the end (I think that's the part from the trailer, him walking to what looks like a garage with
I know nothing of the book or the movie, but from the first trailer to the least I thikn one thing is very clear and just in case im right you might want to stop reading and I guess they changed teh ending from the book to the movie so I wouldnt have any idea how it ends. But without a doubt she is alive and faked her own death/disappearance. Ben is going to fin dthat out im guessing somewhere near the end (I think that's the part from the trailer, him walking to what looks like a garage with his hands on his head walking slowly to it with a look of concern). Im guessing thats where she has been hiding out and I would assume someone else has been helping her. From there Im not quite sure what happens (Ben kills her for real), but I know this movie without ever seeing it bc no doubt she is alive and I will be very disappointed if thats the case as this movie then has been made a thousand times they just changed a few names and facts and Fincher shouldn't waste his time on a movie I can (for the most part) guess its biggest twist!!
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9:21PM on 10/03/2014
gotta love ignorance. here let me give you a bit of a spoiler (others dont read if you ahvent seen it)





















we find out shes not dead probably about 30 mins into the movie. Thats not the twist. IDIOT. Thats not what the movie is about.
gotta love ignorance. here let me give you a bit of a spoiler (others dont read if you ahvent seen it)





















we find out shes not dead probably about 30 mins into the movie. Thats not the twist. IDIOT. Thats not what the movie is about.
11:53AM on 10/03/2014

Damn good movie

Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Kept me on my toes throughout. Rosamund Pike. Wow. If she doesn't get an Oscar nom for this, I'd be shocked. Ben Affleck too. Great movie all around, and the score was amazing as well. One of the best films this year and definitely an Oscar contender.
Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Kept me on my toes throughout. Rosamund Pike. Wow. If she doesn't get an Oscar nom for this, I'd be shocked. Ben Affleck too. Great movie all around, and the score was amazing as well. One of the best films this year and definitely an Oscar contender.
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4:45PM on 10/02/2014

Love David Fincher

And absolutely love this movie!
And absolutely love this movie!
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2:34PM on 10/02/2014

I think I know the ending. I haven't even seen this or read the books...

I just hope the ending isn't as blatantly obvious as I think it is... The obvious theory is she is still alive and just hiding with some guy she cheated on her husband with, trying to get her husband thrown in jail for her murder so she can come out of hiding, get married in a new state and that's that. A seemingly perfect revenge plot...
I just hope the ending isn't as blatantly obvious as I think it is... The obvious theory is she is still alive and just hiding with some guy she cheated on her husband with, trying to get her husband thrown in jail for her murder so she can come out of hiding, get married in a new state and that's that. A seemingly perfect revenge plot...
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4:45PM on 10/02/2014
Much more complex than that
Much more complex than that
12:03PM on 10/03/2014
Close. But no cigar.
Close. But no cigar.
3:25PM on 10/03/2014
nah that's the basic jist. Look your idea first part is spot on, exactly right and why I will never love this movie. I should not be able to guess the big twist (not saying there aren't others) that the main character was always alive just from the trailer. So anyone who thinks that before they go, will not really care about anything until that point of the big reveal comes, from there it can be interesting but only for the last 20 mins of the movie
nah that's the basic jist. Look your idea first part is spot on, exactly right and why I will never love this movie. I should not be able to guess the big twist (not saying there aren't others) that the main character was always alive just from the trailer. So anyone who thinks that before they go, will not really care about anything until that point of the big reveal comes, from there it can be interesting but only for the last 20 mins of the movie
9:23PM on 10/03/2014
well considering we know shes alive about 30-40 mins into the movie leaving another 1h50 mins shows that you guys missed the point of the movie. Its not trying to be like "TADAAAAAAAA shes alive" twist twist twist!
well considering we know shes alive about 30-40 mins into the movie leaving another 1h50 mins shows that you guys missed the point of the movie. Its not trying to be like "TADAAAAAAAA shes alive" twist twist twist!
1:13PM on 10/02/2014
The book is great, the ending not a Hollywood ending, and it seems the movie is pretty close? Not surprised its well received.
The book is great, the ending not a Hollywood ending, and it seems the movie is pretty close? Not surprised its well received.
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12:51PM on 10/02/2014
Not surprised. The book is amazing and the talent that they surrounded the film with will make this one of the best, most memorable films of the year. Glad to see that everyone involved absolutely owns in this and that the story doesn't differ too much and/or was cut too much from page to screen.

Can't wait. I hope it absolutely dominates at the Box Office, because I have a feeling that this will be a film people will be seeing multiple times.
Not surprised. The book is amazing and the talent that they surrounded the film with will make this one of the best, most memorable films of the year. Glad to see that everyone involved absolutely owns in this and that the story doesn't differ too much and/or was cut too much from page to screen.

Can't wait. I hope it absolutely dominates at the Box Office, because I have a feeling that this will be a film people will be seeing multiple times.
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12:04PM on 10/03/2014
I'd like to know how Fincher chamged the ending. Haven't read the book. But the movie was very good. The score was amazing as well.
I'd like to know how Fincher chamged the ending. Haven't read the book. But the movie was very good. The score was amazing as well.
3:27PM on 10/03/2014
have you ever said anything remotely negative about any movie ever? Can we get JoBlo to look up how many reds you have. Movie stars would love you as a critic, since none has ever made a bad movie or even developed one you weren't ready to buy on the first day it was announced.
have you ever said anything remotely negative about any movie ever? Can we get JoBlo to look up how many reds you have. Movie stars would love you as a critic, since none has ever made a bad movie or even developed one you weren't ready to buy on the first day it was announced.
10:04PM on 10/03/2014
cricker, have you not read The_Soloist's posts on the new Fantastic Four? There have been others he's not into also. I find his optimism refreshing as opposed to the massive amounts of people that hate everything.
cricker, have you not read The_Soloist's posts on the new Fantastic Four? There have been others he's not into also. I find his optimism refreshing as opposed to the massive amounts of people that hate everything.
4:11AM on 10/08/2014
What dseal22 said. His passion for what he likes is equally matched by the movies he dislikes, and there's a few.
What dseal22 said. His passion for what he likes is equally matched by the movies he dislikes, and there's a few.
+1
12:41PM on 10/02/2014

Good to see....

.....Affleck continue his streak of quality films (as an actor or director). He's probably the best star maturing story in a generation. This guy was completely written off as a joke, and is now becoming one of the most solidly bankable (both in terms of box office and quality) stars around.
.....Affleck continue his streak of quality films (as an actor or director). He's probably the best star maturing story in a generation. This guy was completely written off as a joke, and is now becoming one of the most solidly bankable (both in terms of box office and quality) stars around.
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12:56PM on 10/02/2014
His streak?...Do you not remember Runner Runner? That came out a week before Argo.
His streak?...Do you not remember Runner Runner? That came out a week before Argo.
2:31PM on 10/02/2014
I'd still call it a streak. If a guy can put out 5 to 6 solid films, I'll forgive the one or two "bad" ones that are in the middle of that streak. He's right, Affleck is a solid bank. I put him close to Christian Bale status.
I'd still call it a streak. If a guy can put out 5 to 6 solid films, I'll forgive the one or two "bad" ones that are in the middle of that streak. He's right, Affleck is a solid bank. I put him close to Christian Bale status.
2:39PM on 10/02/2014
I see your point Herelam, but I want to win this debate, so I'm not going to agree even though I do. ;-)
I see your point Herelam, but I want to win this debate, so I'm not going to agree even though I do. ;-)
12:37PM on 10/02/2014
Gave it the same score. There's a fine line between leading an audience on a roller coaster ride and playing them for chumps with cop-out twists snd I think Gone Girl firmly belongs in the former category. Also didn't expect it to be this funny; pretty incredible how the humour doesn't undercut any of the intensity and suspense.
Gave it the same score. There's a fine line between leading an audience on a roller coaster ride and playing them for chumps with cop-out twists snd I think Gone Girl firmly belongs in the former category. Also didn't expect it to be this funny; pretty incredible how the humour doesn't undercut any of the intensity and suspense.
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12:13PM on 10/02/2014
"This sure to be successful thriller is likely a pulp classic, a rare thing in modern cinema" - Wow. I really need to watch this movie.
"This sure to be successful thriller is likely a pulp classic, a rare thing in modern cinema" - Wow. I really need to watch this movie.
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