October 3, 2014

Movie Review: Gone Girl

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl (Merrick Morton / Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises)
Last night, I attended the New York Film Critics screening of Gone Girl at the Alamo Drafthouse.  This screening had a Q&A with Gillian Flynn afterward.  She had on a glittery blush that I want and spoke to Peter Travers about the way the quote about her throwing away the third act took on a life of its own (you will be surprised by the end) and how she got her dream adaptation, with David Fincher, Ben Affleck, and Rosamund Pike.

It really is a dream adaptation.  Gone Girl is that rare book-to-film adaptation that's faithful, but with just enough alteration to keep in smooth on screen.  Ben Affleck, as Nick Dunne, is handsome and likeable in all the wrong ways, oozing a smooth charm that doesn't work for a man whose wife is missing.  Rosamund Pike is brilliant as Amy.  They were very smart to cast a mostly unknown actress.  I know her as Jane in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, which makes me want to like her.  She's got big, doe eyes that can go cool in an instant.  The only note I had trouble with is her accent.  She doesn't sound English, but she doesn't sound like she's from New York either.  At the same time, her voice did sound Amy.

The real revelation, for me, was Carrie Coon as Nick's sister Margo.  She's supportive, she's loving, she's broken by the terrible things happening to her brother and the reveals of all the little lies he's been telling her.  If you haven't read the book, at the beginning of Gone Girl, Nick's wife Amy goes missing.  As the police investigate and find Amy's diary, it starts to look like Nick might've killed her.  It's one twist after the other.  (Which, Kim Dickens is awesome as the lead cop.  All of the actresses - and actors - really pull it off.)

When I read Gone Girl, the hype was full speed ahead.  I felt a little let down because I expected something that was probably more than one book could offer.  The movie makes me want to revisit the book, re-examine the texture of Nick and Amy's monologues.  Gone Girl the movie has to get out of the characters' heads and use more dialogue, and it works.  The dialogue is raw and bitter and funny.  Fincher definitely got the comedic elements of the story.  He didn't skimp from the nastier touches either.

GONE GIRL was the book to read; now, Gone Girl is the movie to see.  And boy, it is worth seeing.  It's one I'll be revisiting.


  1. I saw this last night too; that's so cool you were able to hear Gillian Flynn speak. She's been a favorite author of mine for years. I really loved the movie too! I think it was very well done.

    1. I'm looking forward to the adaptations of her other novels, as well as her TV series with Fincher!


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