When I walk outside, I know that fall is here, thanks to the abundance of leaves on the ground and a cool breeze flowing through the air. This is the time of year where Halloween and anything pumpkin-related takes over. But as great as those two things are, this is the start of Oscar season. From late September to December, films that are all competing for the golden statue rise to the occasion. As a film fanatic, this is one of my favorite times of the year. What better way to start out, than with David Fincher’s latest effort “Gone Girl.”
Whether their marriage is strong or not, one thing is certain—Nick Dunne’s [Ben Affleck] life will never be the same again. One morning, his wife Amy [Rosamund Pike] is reported missing. What Nick doesn’t expect, is for this story to spread as much as it does. No matter how hard it gets, Nick’s sister Margo [Carrie Coon] stays by his side. Through all the stages of this investigation, it becomes increasingly clear that not everything is as it seems.
There are more characters and plot details that I could talk about here, but in order to truly appreciate the story, it’s best to keep some of it a surprise. On the surface, “Gone Girl” may look like your typical mystery drama, even though it’s anything but. Most mysteries will try to throw a twist at you, but here, there are more than a few of them and they are all well deserved.
This is the sign of a masterful director such as David Fincher. Looking back on his earlier films such as “Se7en,” “Fight Club” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” — “Gone Girl” joins the ranks as one of his masterpieces. He makes every shot blend into the overall atmosphere and context of the story. Every single one of his actors have to hit their mark and thanks to Fincher, there isn’t a weak link in the bunch.
For anybody who is still skeptical over Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, his performance here should clear that right up. It’s because of the emotion that Affleck brings to this role, we don’t know whether we should believe him or not. He rides this fine line that we’re never really quite sure and that is what makes his character so interesting.
But while he’s a marvel to watch on-screen, nothing compares to his female counterpart.
If Rosamund Pike isn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actress, I will be very disappointed. She’s been okay in her other roles, but here, she gives the best performance of her career.
A performance so good, that it will have people talking about her character for years. Until a certain point in the film, her character is a mystery, but from that moment on, the psychosis of Amy is brought to light. Saying anything more, would be a crime.
If those two weren’t enough, Fincher built such a stellar supporting cast. Carrie Coon spends most of her scenes working off of Affleck and she doesn’t miss a beat. She’s tough at times, but it’s easy to see that she does it because she loves her brother.
Another character that is on Nick’s side is his lawyer Tanner Bolt played by Tyler Perry. I never thought that I would say this sentence, but here we go. Tyler Perry gave a great performance. Even as I read it over again, I’m still baffled that this is the case.
But I have to give credit where credit is due.
Last but not least, Kim Dickens does a great job of playing the lead detective in the investigation.
She could have easily been written a certain way, but she’s allowed to grow as a character. She’s never one-sided as her feet are kept in both realms, looking for the truth.
Somehow, I feel that this review won’t give “Gone Girl” enough justice. Experiencing a David Fincher movie on the big screen is an event that nobody should miss.
The underlying themes of marriage and mass media will be discussed for many years to come. When the film goes one way, it takes a hard-right turn, catching everybody off-guard.
Even the most average of movie-goers should find something to latch on to. Don’t stream it, don’t wait for the Blu-ray — see “Gone Girl” the way it was originally meant to be seen.
Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at email@example.com