On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? Written by Twentieth Century Fox
October 3, 2014
In Gone Girl (2014) Nick Dunn (Ben Affleck) comes home on the day of his 5th anniversary to find his wife, Amy (Rosemund Pike) missing. Naturally being the husband of a missing woman, Nick is suspect number one. The police investigators and media begin to dig in for clues as we learn that the picturesque marriage of Nick and Amy is not what it seemed. This film is an excellent pot boiler mystery for fans of the genre. Great edge of your seat entertainment. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, who also adapted the screenplay. The story and subject matter raised by Flynn’s book says a lot about marriage, current societal morays and the evil nature of mankind. So what better Director than David Fincher, his first film since Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) given his House of Cards break into television. He reteams with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the score. A score much more understated and less noticeable than their other collaborations.
Ben Affleck is a very solid choice in casting, given his own real life back and forth media love hate relationship; gambling, cheating. He can turn on the charm and shut it down much better than he could earlier in his career. His range as an actor is improving with each film, which is key in a film that requires the viewer not to be sold on his guilt or innocence. Rosmund Pike, is hauntingly beautiful as the wife. I think this role will make the British actress more of a house hold name this side of the pond. The casting for this film had a lot of front runners in pre production; Maura Rooney, Natalie Portman and even Reese Witherspoon who ended up with a production credit. I think with the past roles they have played none of the other actresses could have pulled off the character of Amy as effectively as Pike. They have all played too sweet, that sugar would mess up the recipe for this film.
******SPOILER ALERT, DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM********
I can not help but compare this film to David Fincher’s now classic Fight Club (1999). Amy is to Edward Norton’s nameless character in Fight Club as Amazing Amy is to Tyler Durden. This novel appeals to the anti establishment, anti hero women secretly want in the same way. Amy’s rant in the car about the different types of girls seems similar to Tyler Durden’s rants on society with a female perspective. Amy takes on Amazing Amy when her diary begins to narrate her version of the story. Much in the way her parents children’s book Amazing Amy was a better version of her. In the end the two halves join back when the blood is washed off and she returns life back to the comfort of her version of a happy home with her husband. Fake a pregnancy, killing a guy all justified in her mind to get her family unit back in order. Much in the way Tyler Durden blows up the bank buildings to get us all back to the comforts of living debt free. I noticed a similar reaction from men leaving the theater after Gone Girl’s credits began to role. What?! He stayed with her?! That ending sucks?! Much like the women I noticed leaving the theater scratching their heads at the destruction in the end of Fight Club. We are not so different men and women, we struggle to communicate and that’s why most relationships fail. We both have a dark side that can scare and confuse the other and that’s what I think Fincher is saying in both films.
Oh I love love love this movie. I’ve already seen it twice and look forward to seeing it again (and most likely owning it!) If you’ve seen it once, see it again … you’ll appreciate the David Fincher details even more. If you haven’t seen it … what are you doing tonight? Seeing Gone Girl? Thought so!
This first time I saw the movie, I questioned Ben Affleck as the lead for at least a hour. It felt as if he was simply chosen for being Ben Affleck — a star to bring in the ladies and the cash. By the end of of the film it was clear Ben was perfect for the role. Fischer said in a Playboy article that he was looking for the perfect smile for the Nick Dunne character and googled the Affleck smile. “I flipped through Google Images and found about 50 shots of Affleck giving that kind of smile in public situations. You look at them and know he’s trying to make people comfortable in the moment, but by doing that he’s making himself vulnerable to people having other perceptions about him.”
The movie’s leading lady played by Rosemund Pike is also a wonderful choice. Without giving anything away, let’s just say the casting was perfection for the plot twists. Any team that can pull in NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) is going to put a great ensemble cast together. They are believable from the first second of the film. If you are questioning the acting, then the movie has you right where they want you.
I continue to grow my respect and love for David Fincher as a director after watching Gone Girl. The Social Network wowed me (behind the scenes footage was killer) and I’m a huge fan of House of Cards. Gone Girl is another home run. In an interview with Affleck, he talked about getting to finally rest during a movie as merely the actor, not the director / actor after his big Argo win. He mentioned that when he was directing Argo, he would hear “no” to something and consider it a done deal and move on. One of the things he learned from Fincher is the centuries-old-lesson “never take no as answer”. According to Affleck, Fincher does not accept no — no matter the cost, time or hassle. It will be interesting to see how Fincher’s lessons will impact Ben’s direction in his next picture. (Author’s note: I’m struggling to find the interview to post as a reference! Still looking and will update once found!)
Gone Girl is smart, engaging, exciting. During the movie take a quick glance at the people around you — they are on the edge of their seats. Listen to their comments after the movie — hear what they took away about relationships, social media and the 24 hour news cycle. And yes, ladies, it’s over two hours of Ben Affleck … simply put, you can’t go wrong.
We would love to hear your thoughts — especially from those of you who read the book. I hear the movie is awesomely close to the book. I have it on my nightstand and look forward to reading it.