Gone Girl

Gone Girl is director David Fincher’s most successful film to date and most people are familiar with it and, if you’re not, the less you know the better so I will skip the usual plot summary.

Despite Golden Globe nominations for best actress, screenplay, director, and original score, only actress Rosamund Pike walked away with a shot at an Oscar. Her best actress nomination makes sense, especially this year where the pool of strong female lead performances seems more shallow than it was over the last few years. We get to know Amazing Amy mostly through flashbacks and Pike’s eyes and haunting narration suggest she’s got secrets and we really want to find out what happened to her.

gone girl review

The fact that Gone Girl works so well though has a lot to do with Ben Affleck, who plays Amy’s husband. The press has picked on Ben almost as much as they did his Gone Girl character. It’s probably partly because he’s made more than his share of shitty movies. He also has this way about him though. He’s a charming enough guy but often can’t seem to help seeming insincere. Maybe it’s his, as Amy puts it, “villainous chin”. Or maybe it’s just hard to seem sincere under a media microscope, where your every gesture is examined for signs of insincerity. Either way, he knows what it’s like to be bullied by the press and he seems to draw on that experience to deliver probably his best performance so far. Ben’s public life serves Gone Girl just as well as Michael Keaton’s did Birdman. Even that famous smugness of his works. His character’s a nice guy but we’re not always sure we believe him, as much as we’d like to. The way Affleck and Pike play it, we’re never quite sure what the truth is.

For another asshole’s point of view, click here.

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6 thoughts on “Gone Girl

  1. Hippie Cahier

    That’s a great point about Affleck drawing on experience being bullied by the press. I watched this last night, and [possible spoiler alert?] as much as I adore Neil Patrick Harris, I found myself distracted by that casting.

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  2. mattasshole Post author

    Amy’s scenes with NPH were my least favourite in the whole movie and I found myself wishing that they had cast almost anybody else. It was especially distracting that, just like Barney Stinson, he has a ridiculously awesome place and I don’t think we know what he does for a living.

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  3. Jim Turnbull

    Top review, man! Loved your parallels between Affleck’s character and Affleck the actor. I prefer him as a director, but he draws on his own experiences under the scrutiny of the press really well.

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  4. mattasshole Post author

    Thanks, Jim! I definately prefer him as a director too but I’m just kind of happy for him that he seems to making a bit of a comeback. I feel bad for people who get bullied by the press like that, even if they are super rich.

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