Gone Girl – Movie of the Week

Gone Girl starts on a day where Nick Dunne’s wife goes missing on their 5th year anniversary. Makes sense right? There is a girl. She’s gone.

But that’s where the predictability for this movie ends. Gone Girl tells it’s story in an interesting way. In one way you follow Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) in the current timeline counting the hours and then days since his wife’s disappearance, the other you are following Amy Dunne’s (Rosamund Pike) journal looking back to the beginnings of their relationship and getting the backstory for how we got to now.

Sidenote: The unique part to this film is that the author of the book is also the screenwriter of the film. I like this because any changes are make to work for film, and is in keeping with the characters that she created in the book. The film isn’t able to keep the frequency that the book does in bouncing back and forth between the stories, but it is, in fact, a good representation of the book. It succeeds where many adaptations fail, or are a hollow shell from where they started. However, I recommend reading the book first (or even after) because the intensity is heightened in a way that the film can’t quite reach.

Nick and Amy are not the perfect couple that they may appear to be on the outside. There are things in the house just don’t add up in the crime scene, Nick does not act like a husband in distress, he withholds information from the police, etc. The case starts to build that this could be a man who murdered his wife. The media circus that builds around this feeds the flames of doubt, and you begin questioning everything you see as truth. (I’m being as subtle as possible as this movie is one that should experience in as full effect as possible.)

If this movie was a rollercoaster the first act is all ascent, and acts two and three, are a speed race down to the conclusion with as many twists and turns as you can handle. But you want to be there, hanging on for dear life, as the film races to the finish. Act three has been changed from the book, but for once I am ok with that because for pacing and for how the story unfolds on film it is something that needed to happen. Once again, I trust it because the author is the screenwriter, so it’s not another writer or director messing with the characters because they can.

David Fincher was an excellent choice to helm this picture (it will be hard for him to top Social Network in my mind however). It hits the tone this film needed on the head with the dark vibe overshadowing this reality, but not going as far as in previous projects like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross once again provide an excellent tone with the score. Ben Affleck continues a resurgence for his acting career and the range that Rosamund Pike goes through in her character is well deserving of an Oscar nod. Tyler Perry shows up (in a non-Medea role) and proves successful and interesting as Nick’s lawyer. Throw in a creeeeepy Neil Patrick Harris, and…well I’ll let you find out for yourself.

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4.5/5 (Very well may have been 5, but I loved the book too much)

Gone Girl is available for Purchase or Download in all formats.

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