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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 3 years, 4 months ago on 19 July 2015 09:20

As a follow up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), David Fincher adapts another selection of popular crime/mystery/thriller/murder fiction. As popular culture becomes ever more inundated with this sort of thing, it does become more difficult for films like Gone Girl to distinguish themselves from another episode of 20/20, Dateline, I killed my BFF (real show title), etc. Still, Fincher's famous dexterity with aesthetics lift the proceedings to above average entertainment fair.

Rosamund Pike earned much richly deserved praise for her turn as Amy Dunne, the psychotic, Manhattanite wife of Ben Affleck's Nick Dunne. Affleck himself is fine, in typical everyman decent-but-flawed mode. Fincher keeps up a good fight with the plot developments and drama, not letting it get too out of control, until the latter part of the third act, which feels as if it goes on far too long. An understandable dilemma, as the popular page-turner on which it is based left little chance to be abridged enough without losing all sense of tone or pacing. So, the film does go off the rails to some extent, but the good qualities still make it worth exploring on HBO or a cross-country flight.

It's Fincher's overall command of the photography, soundtrack and story that once again triumph. It's easy, I suppose, to put the blame on the script, but in this case, I think it's entirely justified. The best thing Gone Girl has going for it is Fincher's pacing and ability to let the space (physical, temporal, aesthetic) come through in the film. To that end, the soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is quite helpful. Deliberate and spacey, it exemplifies ambience. Longtime Fincher DP Jeff Cronenweth's photography is dark, chilly, and beautiful while showing the right amounts of restraint so as not to overplay these qualities and create something so sumptuous that it is actually distracting. Again, this has become a hallmark of Fincher's films.

Most of the somewhat workmanlike scene-by-scene drama is bearable, but a bit off-putting in that you never sense the characters and story falling into synch. While there is some good dialogue, too much of it goes for a cutesy tone that doesn't exactly hit the dark humor that might work here—it is a little Coen-esque, but curiously doesn't agree with where the film is going..

So, a very flawed—but also quite worthy—effort from a terrific director and certainly worth checking out for anyone who likes David Fincher's recent work.

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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 3 years, 5 months ago on 20 June 2015 02:24

"Quando penso a mia moglie, penso sempre alla sua testa.
Immagino di aprirle quel cranio perfetto e srotolarle il cervello in cerca di risposte alle domande principali di ogni matrimonio.
A cosa pensi? Come ti senti? Che cosa ci siamo fatti?'"

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Gone Girl

Posted : 3 years, 7 months ago on 28 April 2015 08:49

While pithy, the description of Gone Girl as the best Lifetime movie ever made is not without its merits. This to indulges in the worst, shrillest, most salacious moments of a narrative that frequently feels all too ridiculous. Moments of satire are painfully obvious, the black humor frequently falls limp in front of David Fincher’s meticulous, cold, but unbelievably glossy direction.

On paper, this reads as an unequivocal success, but something got lost along the way. Perhaps it’s that third act which takes a hard turn into territory that if played better by Ben Affleck would have sold it, but his performance never quite sells the sense that these two awful characters deserve the hell hole of their own making. It’s not that he’s too likable for the role, it’s just that he doesn’t seem comfortable delving into the darker, hateful aspects of the character required to really make it work.

In stark contrast, Rosamund Pike is the only thing worth seeing in this movie. The movie might be handsomely made trash, but Pike’s poisonous leading lady is an immaculately crafted piece of work. Completely unafraid of the ugliness at the heart of her character, Pike reveals levels of commitment and dramatic depths that are frightening to behold. Her ice queen is a deceiving, cunning, but not nearly as smart as she thinks she is sociopath of the highest order. Pike single-handedly saves Gone Girl from being pure tedium to get through.

Although, to be fair, the first two-thirds of Gone Girl aren’t without their merits, but a sudden act of violence shatters the narrative and it never properly recovers. Once this act occurs, the story takes a hard turn into wildly unbelievable and poorly thought-out scenes which stretch out for far too long. The film’s climax seems to never end, and the final ending it gives us is wildly unsatisfying. Somewhere along the way, Gone Girl lost the plot.

Gone Girl’s supporting players are the only other highlight. Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry (yes, THAT Tyler Perry) turn in the best work. Harris is carving out a nice little niche for himself as disturbed, obsessive characters between this and his minor role in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Perry is a major surprise, he really goes for it with his character’s questionable ethics and behavior as Affleck’s defense attorney. Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens are the only other supporting players who make an impression, as Affleck’s twin sister and the major police officer investigating the case. Sela Ward is offered a minor role as a major player in the TV news business, I wanted to see more of her.

But not every supporting player is playing in the same key, and tone is never the strongest point in Gone Girl. Missi Pyle’s Nancy Grace-like character feels too broadly drawn, more like something you would see on SNL. A strange complaint to make about a character clearly inspired by Nancy Grace, but every time she’s onscreen the entirety of her performance feels too smirking, too winking at the audience to ask if they get the joke. We get it. A similar thing happens with Casey Wilson’s eternally pregnant nosey neighbor, Patrick Fugit’s dimwitted police officer, Lola Kirke and Boyd Holbrook as pair of country bumpkins. However committed to the material these various players may be, and Fugit, Kirke and Holbrook are fine, the film doesn’t know what tone to strike with these various voices. This leaves their work in some grey zone, the actors are fine, but the scenes are clearly meant to be satirical, yet they don’t land on their feet.

Perhaps Fincher was just the wrong hand to guide this material. His films are dark, engrossing, moody, but they aren’t exactly known for humor. And he falters in the face of the more satirical elements of the tale. Gone Girl is all scorched earth, but Fincher is a wintery flame, and the two different tones and styles end up snuffing each other out.

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Intelligent, twisted... and deadly.

Posted : 3 years, 10 months ago on 8 February 2015 12:05

”What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?”

David Fincher tackles an adaptation of the novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn with this psychological thriller. Fincher is indeed back on form with this wonderfully dark story and the immediate escalation and complexity that develops is in a word inspiring. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are cast in the lead roles as husband and wife: Nick and Amy Dunne. The plot revolves around the alleged murder of Amy and the suspicion falls upon her husband. The ensuing media frenzy, clues and fallout evolves into a race against time. A linear murder mystery? Is it that simple? Not at all. Fincher gives us a story with numerous twists, turns and flashbacks.

Film making, effects, cinematography: The clever camera shots and smooth transitions are typical finesse as usual in a Fincher film with clever close ups, panning and sideways movements. Gone Girl has some delicate effects which never deviate from being realistic. Whether indoor or outdoor regarding scenes the use of low or high angles give the film a menacing and claustrophobic edge.

Story, acting, character development: Casting and acting remain at a high standard and all players involved deliver performances which are not only multifaceted but also allow layers in characters who are not what they seem. The real shining examples in Gone Girl are Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, as we learn from the story as it progresses Amy is a successful writer whom seems to be in a marriage, which started full of passion and vibrancy, yet spirals into resentment and manipulation. Nick in the earlier stages appears to be cheating with one of his young students (Played by the beautiful Emily Ratajkowski) and is essentially living on the funding of his wife. The character development is advanced and deeply warped which is a pleasure: The deception and puzzling nature of (especially) Amy and Nick is what gives Gone Girl an unpredictable mask upon another volatile mask.
The chronological nature of the story follows Amy’s disappearance and the clues left for detective Rhonda Boney, played by Kim Dickens, and Nick allows the trail of bread crumbs leading to answers or more questions apparent. There is also a development which shows other chronological chapters for not just Nick but Amy and a resulting one based on what transpires with the murder investigation when it reaches a conclusion which I will not spoil here. Other worthy performances stem from Neil Patrick Harvey and Tyler Perry with hands on approaches with their roles.

Music, score, sound: The music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross adds to the frantic, foreboding and menacing events. It gives the film atmosphere and a scary tension which still resonates with the viewer even until the credits are still ascending.

Summary and conclusion: David Fincher gives us his most recent revelation with Gone Girl. A psychological, intelligent and thrilling rollercoaster puzzle within a twisted and warped story. By the end it really reaches a place that will perhaps be memorable as an outcome which is dually monstrous and suffocating. A lingering imprisonment of suspicion, horror and an unescapable confinement with something, with someone deadly.

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WTF David Fincher?

Posted : 3 years, 10 months ago on 20 January 2015 01:45

Gone girl was the movie i anticipated the most this year and i prayed for it to be good. because i'm crazy about David Fincher, i mean 'Fightclub', 'The social network' and 'Se7en', how can one not be a fan of David.
But this movie left me very disappointed, shocked mostly, at the dramatic change of pace. i mean, the movie thrillers you to the max, and build high expectations for what should be coming next and then suddenly drops to zero leaving the audience speechless and irritated.

As usual, the movie starts up very slow, with a thrilling atmosphere, and beautiful cinematography as Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck) comes home at his 5 years anniversary with his wife Amy Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike) to find her gone, with broken glass and blood on the floor, indicating that a murder or a kidnapping took place. and then a massive search inducted to find her. the first hour of the movie is very average, aside from getting to know the characters, there was some horribly executed flash backs, as the wife write into her diary, and try to remember how she met him, and it was very fast paced and very rushed and overall boring, but that was just the flashbacks. on the 2nd timeline, there's the search which was going slow, with clues here and there, and then the wife suddenly decided to reveal the plot while writing into her diary, which was surprising for the story to get revealed that way but it was thrilling to the max as the wife planed to situate a murder that never happened, to blame her husband for her disappearance, and then get to live her life alone while her husband face the death penalty, and it was so beautifully and smartly executed, a 15 minutes of maximum entertainment, and right there, you know that you're watching a movie by David Fincher.

After the husband figure out her plan and the fact that she decided to blame him for her disappearance, he hire a lawyer and start a TV interview to win the public perception of him while preparing for court, and since it's not a perfect world, the movie suddenly gets confusing, as after the reveal of her plan, there's not much she do afterward, she hides her money in her purse, doesn't change her name, rent a room in some country motel and starts watching the news, which is pretty shocking, since her plan indicate that she's so smart, and been planing this for a long time, but is this her after plan? to sit in a dirty ass motel hiding her money under the bed? seems very stupid, i mean, is that the life she wants to herself after destroying her husband's life? and then to our great surprise, she gets robbed by her nosy neighbor and end up being homeless, sleeping in her car, which is shocking again considering the fact that she supposed to be clever, i mean, since she was very rich, couldn't she hide her money in a bank under a different name or something? because the story until that point seemed very unreasonable.

When she becomes homeless, she decided suddenly to alter her plan and go back to her high-school boyfriend Desi Collings (played by Neil Patrick Harris), whose a rich dude was crazy about her and stocked her for a long time. she decided to live in his house and stage a rape so she can blame it on him and get back to her husband, but the movie failed to show her desperation, it was pretty shocking for the other plan to get executed because she wasn't desperate enough to carry down a murder to get back to her husband as if she was kidnapped from her home and imprisoned in Desi Collings house and was tied up and raped multiple times until she got herself loose and killed him, i mean, she was decent enough to not kill her husband, but they suddenly made her a psychopath when they altered her plan like that, and right there, the movie drops to zero as if was written all the way to that point and then suddenly handed out to a different writer who was supposed to spice it up a bit, and that's dramatic change of event is shocking and not impressing at all, furthermore, it was filled with huge plot holes because there was not even one single evidence of Desi being the kidnapper, they found her diary semi-burned down in Nick Dunne's sister house which indicate that Nick Dunne was the kidnapper, and the FBI released her from the hospital after a 4 minutes investigation without looking at the overall evidence at all, it was like What the fuck David Fincher this doesn't make any sense, and just when you think the movie couldn't get any worse, the movie surprise you by Nick Dunne welcoming her home and not leaving her, even though, she confessed to him that she murdered her ex-boyfriend. i mean the fact that the audience should buy the excuse that Nick Dunne didn't leave his wife because he was scarred of the people's reaction in town as if it would make him look like the husband who left his wife after she got raped which doesn't make any sense. he was scared of her and didn't sleep at the same bed, why stay in the house? who cares about what people think, doesn't worth it for the people to think you're a decent person even though you're scared that she might kill you? and even when he decided to leave her after a while, she tell him that she's pregnant and he decided to stay and raise the baby which was the most forced plot ever. it's irritating and out of reason and a sad turn for a somewhat decent story.

I know it looked as if i hated the movie, but i hated the story, and i was disappointed by David Fincher, even though he isn't the writer but he takes FULL blame for how the movie turned out to be, i mean, it's a movie by David Fincher, the story shouldn't be such irritating and hazardous to your health, but it was, and now i can't even explain how good the movie looked, or how thrilling it was, and how David did an awesome job with the directing and the overall great performances even from the overrated Neil Patrick Harris, because the story fucked that up entirely. seriously, bad planning and sudden change of events is maddening.

Overall, it was high and low, good and bad, but overall WTF!!, and very disappointing coming from the acclaimed director, but this movie proved one thing however, which is that, fanboys will clap along to anything written/directed/produced by David Fincher even if the movie had plot holes the size of a football field.

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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 3 years, 11 months ago on 29 December 2014 01:10

Within the first hour, the script was wonderful, albeit slightly predictable. In the last hour, it went downhill and was worse with (and after) the hospital scene. BA's acting was acceptable, nothing more. Pretty good cast overall.

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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 3 years, 12 months ago on 19 December 2014 12:54

well , it was my one of my most anticipated movie for 2014, with excellent cast and genius director .
This movie contained whole new , this variant of cinema is sure gonna make you wonder.
The storyline is very rare and acting superb.
The movie seems a little slow but a Fincher lovers will never get bored . It contains mind fuck twists , which shifted the movie in a whole new phase. Signature of Fincher's direction , keeps you thrilled and wondering till the end ..
Acting is brilliant especially by Rosamund Pike . Ben Affleck always great.
It is beyond the average and regular movie , boggles mind such weird and fantastic plots.
At last, don't miss it if u love Fincher.

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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 4 years ago on 6 December 2014 05:03

I have to admit this wasn't a film I was particularly anticipating or anything since I knew nothing about it. I decided to check it out anyways and boy was I surprised by how much I enjoyed this twisted movie. I also didn't realize this was a David Fincher movie whom I have enjoyed most of the films I've seen of his. The acting was phenomenal especially from Rosamund Pike who I normally find underwhelming in most of her roles. I have to say this was quite a depressed and truly mental movie. I was not expecting that at all and that's what made me enjoy this so much more having known nothing. There are a few moments of dark humor that actually made me chuckle. This kind of reminded me of A Good Marriage although a bit more demented in my opinion. There are a few brief sexually graphic conversations and some quick sex scenes that felt a little bit awkward. I didn't expect it to unravel the way it did either. In fact there are quite a few twists and turns from beginning to end. It's actually quite an intelligent film despite it's wickedness. I didn't see that ending at all and definitely has me thinking of all the possible repercussions and outcomes. Anyways don't want to spoil anything. This was quite an entertaining story and was totally worth checking out.

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Gone Girl (2014) review

Posted : 4 years, 1 month ago on 18 October 2014 05:27

Dark, so unexpected, so smart. I love all the acting and psychopathing involved. Rosamund Pike is fantastic.

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A very good movie

Posted : 4 years, 2 months ago on 12 October 2014 07:19

Since David Fincher is definitely one of the best directors at work nowadays, I was really eager to check this movie and the fact that it had received some really positive reviews made me even more eager to watch it. Well, once again, Fincher came with a really original work and I'm actually surprised that it is actually so popular since it is far from being a maintream feature. Indeed, it is probably his weirdest movie since 'Fight Club' with so many layers that I will probably keep thinking about it for many days. The first layer was obviously a thriller about a man who might have killed his wife. Then, the second layer was a really pitch black comedy about an average guy who gets involved in this very weird media circus. This combination was already pure genius and like 'The Wolf of Wall Street', it was rather unexpected but very much welcome. Obviously, the whole thing went even further and it became this really weird study about how married life can make you think and or do the weirdest thing, even if in this case, it became pretty extreme but it was obviously all on purpose. To be honest, I'm not sure that everything really did work though. For example, I'm not sure that Ben Affleck's and Rosamund Pike's characters did belong in the same movie as she was seriously over-the-top while he was much more realistic and therefore more engrossing. Still, even though I'm not sure if it is really a masterpiece, it was certainly an impressive movie and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are interested in David Fincher's work.

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