It’s hard for me to write about any new David Fincher without fangirling. Fincher is one of my all-time favorite directors, and I get super excited for his new films. What is so great is that I’m never disappointed. That continues to be the case with his new movie, Gone Girl.
Oh, where to begin with this twisty, sick psycho-thriller…
I’m one of the few who haven’t picked up Gillian Flynn’s bestselling book about married couple Nick and Amy Dunne. Flynn adapts her own book to screen, telling a story full of twists and turns that leave you reeling by the end.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick (Ben Affleck) arrives home to find a coffee table overturned and his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), missing. He immediately calls the police and an investigation goes underway as the detectives find evidence of foul play. It’s clear that there was something up between Nick and Amy before she went missing. The story unfolds as we learn more about their relationship through Amy’s diary passages and Nick as he tries to deal with suspicious detectives and media scrutiny.
A lot goes down in Gone Girl, which would be an absolute shame to spoil in a review. Each new tidbit of information leads down a new path or opens up a fork in a road for the film’s characters. It’s a hell of a ride to watch them navigate it.
Ben Affleck is notably great as the affable Nick, it’s definitely some of his best work. But the real tour-de-force is Rosamund Pike. She blew me away as “Amazing Amy.” The places she takes that character will have your spine-shivering in a good (or maybe bad?) way. Tyler Perry is surprisingly wonderful as the go-to “I did not kill my wife” defense attorney. He brings in the right amount of comedy in this dark drama. As a fan of HBO’s The Leftovers, I enjoyed Carrie Coon, who played Nick’s twin sister, Margo. I loved the dynamic between the siblings. Affleck and Coon had their own kind of chemistry, and Margo is really the one who helps you sympathize with Nick. Also of note are Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit; both play the local detectives leading the investigation.
As for the direction, it’s some of Fincher’s best. He knows how to add in the creep-factor. It’s appropriate that this is an October release; it fits right in with the horror season. The increasing haunting quality of the film as you watch is both unsettling and mesmerizing. He satirically takes on the media, which makes a statement of how much of a sideshow it truly can be. All the while, the film touches base on marriage, adultery, socio-economic status, and family. Flynn honestly crafted a solid and unrelenting screenplay.
Fincher brings out the best in his performers, but he also knows how to film them in a way that shows us a different side of them. There are some shots in this movie of Rosamund Pike that will stay in mind for a while, not because they were literally shocking, but because they were shot so viscerally. David Fincher continues to establish himself as one of America’s best filmmakers. Even if I weren’t such a super fan, I’m sure I’d still believe that.
Gone Girl is easily one of the best thrillers to come out of Hollywood in years. Well-directed, acted, written, it has everything you want in a dark, psychological thriller—and pretty much film in general.
Gone Girl arrives in theaters Friday, October 3rd.