INCLUDE_DATA

GONE GIRL is an Oscar-lock and a subversive look at American relationships…

Posted on October 10th, 2014
Posted on October 10th, 2014

by Coop Cooper

When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears under suspicious circumstances, her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) cooperates with the police lead by the shrewd Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens). The story intermittently flashes back to show how Amy and Nick met, their whirlwind romance and their descent into mutual bitter resentment. As the evidence is uncovered, the community and the media begin to turn on Nick, believing him to be a murderer.

To end that description of the plot with ‘but all is not what it seems…’ would be an understatement. Much has been hyped about the New York Times best-selling novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay), with many critics claiming the twist and turns in the story makes this one a must-read.

This film adaptation will be nominated for Academy Awards and will probably win a few. Here are the reasons why…

The acting: Ben Affleck had a difficult time being taken seriously after beginning his career, first as a heel in indie comedies, then as a leading man in some of the cheesiest Hollywood action movies of the 90’s and early 2000’s. His Oscar-win along with Matt Damon for writing “Good Will Hunting”, at first, seemed like a fluke but now the actor has fully transformed in to a serious auteur and dramatic actor. In “Gone Girl” he fully disappears into his role as the camera stays on him for 90% of the film. Rosamund Pike; however, will most certainly receive a nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the emotionally damaged Amy in this film. While I always admired the actress for her poise and beauty, I’ve never seen anything like this kind of performance from her. “Gone Girl” will quickly elevate her to an A-list, go-to, leading dramatic actress. Watch and see.

The production: Fincher was obviously an excellent choice to helm the film version as he cut his teeth on twisted crime films like “Seven”, “The Game” and more recently with the English adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. While he is most well known for his heavy use of stylistic elements, here he has toned down his usual form to make the mood more quiet and melancholy. Once again he employed Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor to compose the score which I found to be superior to his Oscar-winning, yet uninteresting score from “The Social Network”. For the music in “Gone Girl”, it’s almost as if he was told to imagine the saddest horror film ever made and take inspiration from it. It is haunting as it is masterful.

The story: I was not prepared for the twists and turns this film would take in its latter-half. Once I analyzed the context clues in the trailers and plot descriptions, I thought I had it figured out. I was right at first. It could have ended halfway in and I would have been vindicated if not terribly impressed. In the second half, the story evolved into something much different and by the end, I was emotionally devastated, not just by the story, but by what the film says about the modern American family and the horrific circus of a scandal-obsessed 24-hour media.

The film exposes how easily manipulated the general public is by the media, the internet and popular opinion and how those things can be twisted to serve a nefarious purpose. I felt in a way this was similar to films in which science turns people into monsters, except in this case, it’s the negative influences of the modern world that can change us into something abominable. It can infect us with unrealistic expectations, blind us with delusions of fame and fortune, warp our morals and trick us into believing anything we hear (Facebook, I’m also pointing at you). As frightening as it was to see how the general public can become infatuated with someone or viciously turn on them due to hearsay and limited perception, it was even more frightening to see the ultimate solution to the problem.

This is one of the most subversively complex thrillers I’ve seen since “The Usual Suspects” back in 1995. It is the ‘watercooler’ movie of the year and it will probably be the most talked about film when the Oscar nominations come out early next year. The only complaint I can see a mainstream audience having with it is that it didn’t provide them with the ending they probably wanted. To that, I would argue it provided them with the ‘cautionary tale’ ending they actually needed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

No Comments •

Comments

Search
Search Form
Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival
2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
Follow Coop on Twitter...
    follow me on twitter
    Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
    Archives
    Subscribe via Email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Subscribe via RSS feed!