(Note that this review will be specifically spoiler free!)
One of the year’s most anticipated films, David Fincher’s Gone Girl doesn’t disappoint delivering a stylish and sophisticated cinematic punch to the guts.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) arrives home on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary to find the door open, signs of disarray inside the house and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) “gone”. Amy is the real life incarnation of “Amazing Amy” – the fictional children’s character of books authored by her parents (played well by David Clennon and Lisa Banes), and so is something of a minor celebrity. As such, her disappearance generates an intense media frenzy and suspicion quickly falls on the hapless husband Nick, who can seem to do nothing right in terms of self-implication.
Speaking from the pages of her own diary, Amy describes a marriage that appears to be far less idyllic than it appears to the Missouri neighbourhood in which she lives, adding further fuel to the fire.
To say more (all of the above is within the trailer) would be wrong. Just to say that It is a roller-coaster of a script, by Gillian Flynn from her own novel, and delivers a suitable number of twists and turns.
Ben Affleck is excellent in the role of Nick, but the acting star of the show for me is former Bond girl Rosamund Pike as the flashback-featured Amy: a stunningly good performance and I would be surprised if this doesn’t end up with an Oscar nomination.
David Fincher clearly brings out the best in his actors, with Neil Patrick Harris (TV child star of “Doogie Howser”) playing a creepy part extremely well, Tyler Perry highly entertaining as Nick’s legal beagle, Carrie Coon excellent in a film debut as Margot, Nick’s supportive sister, and Kim Dickens (“Hollow Man”, “The Blind Side”) riveting as the detective investigating the case. Also outstanding, in a couple of notable ways as well as the acting, is British-born Emily Ratajkowski. A brilliant ensemble cast that work extremely well together.
Key contributors to the film are Fincher’s usual soundtrack team of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Social Network”), who deliver a genuinely spooky and highly effective soundtrack that again I would suggest is well into Oscar nomination territory.
Whilst I have some quibbles with the overall story (it is easy to pick holes in it as the lights come up) I can’t readily fault the film… it is another Fincher classic and I suspect that this film will feature large at the Oscars in February. Note that (after my recent rant about the “15” certificate awarded to “The Equalizer”) the film earns its “18” certificate for a combination of sex, language and violence. The film is genuinely disturbing in places.
One of the most enthralling and well executed films of the year so far.
Fad Rating: FFFFf.