Friday, October 10, 2014
A short review of GONE GIRL (2014) New York Film Festival 2014
I know GONE GIRL opened last week in theaters and that I had a a quick capsule review back on the 26th when the film opened the New York Film Festival, but in the interest of explaining my brief thoughts I'm going to say a few more things (also I need a film to fill a NYFF slot)
Not to worry there will be no spoilers-and I do recommend that you don't let your friends spoil the film's twists.
Adapting her own novel Gillian Flynn for director David Fincher the writer presents us with a "he said, she said" story of a marriage in crisis. The film opens as Nick Dunne gets a call at the bar he owns to say that his front door is open and his cat is outside. Nick returns home to find things a miss. There are signs of a struggle. He calls the police, who soon realize something is amiss... Cross cut with this are sequences that are journal entries from his wife's diary. Amy Dunne is the real life counter part to a literary character created by her parents which chronicle the life of The Amazing Amy. We watch as she meets Nick, they fall in love and eventually their marriage begins to break. Meanwhile the police find signs that the something terrible has happened and as public opinion turns on Nick, they have to determine if he did something to Amy.
A good little thriller, I'm pretty sure that the film will thrill fans of the book. I'm pretty sure that film fans will enjoy it a great deal too. I'm not sure that the film is going to be hailed at years end as one of the best films of the year and win the boatload of awards it seems aiming for.
For me the film has a couple of problems despite some really fine film making and sterling performances -Rosamund Pike is a shoe in for an Oscar nom. Her character is destined to become a cinematic icon. Tyler Perry may also taste some year end accolades in a role that is as cool as they come and shuttle him away from Medea.
For me the film's chief problem is it's it's too long. Running two and a half hours the film is effectively over at a certain point but then it goes on adding exclamation points and colorful flowers to the all the points it had been making up to the point. We don't need the final 15 minutes since there is nothing that the film adds except a couple of maybe threads that are just left laying there. The length also works against one major plot point since it really allows us time to realize something that weakens the film further (no I will not discuss it here). To be honest the films over length had me pulling at enough plot threads that I realized the story is not as cleverly plotted as one might think.
Despite the fact that several critics praised the score at the press conference I found that Trent Rezner's heath spa ambient music intrusive and just plain bad. For me it didn't add anything but instead took away.
As I said above the film isn't bad, it's a great popcorn movie. Actually it's a more adult version of a Lifetime TV movie (Thank you JB for pointing that out).
Should you see it?
Yes, and I'd go for sooner than later simply because everyone will be talking about the film and it's twists and turns.