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Matt's Gone Girl Review

Updated on October 6, 2014

David Fincher has once again proven himself one of the finest directors in the film industry today. For me, Gone Girl started as a teaser trailer set to an ominous cover of Elvis Costello's "She". Gone Girl is exactly the sort of film an adult wants to see when they go to the movies. It is smart, tightly paced, brilliantly written, with excellent acting.

Observations

- Gone Girl is an attack on sensationalism, and a grim look at the institution of marriage. Some viewers will react differently to the various messages in this film than others. Fincher has always been a director that makes his audience think, but he puts storytelling, performance ahead of any underlying messages he wants to communicate. I honestly think the social commentary was well done, and it made the film feel edgy and immediate.

- Gone Girl is a movie that turns the tables on its audience. More than one critic was turned off by some of the twists in the plot, but I thought the twists made the story even more engaging. I loved the intricacies of the plot almost as much as the way the movie was edited together. I didn't think it was hard to follow, but I think this film demands your undivided attention.

Performances

Ben Affleck has really turned his career around in the last 7 years. In his role as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, he delivers a nuanced and somewhat unsettling performance. This is a character unlike anything Ben Affleck has played before, and he was excellent.

I always thought Rosamund Pike was talented, and she proved it here as the titular Gone Girl. I have never seen Pike play a character with such a complex emotional journey before, and she handled it beautifully.

Nick Dunne's wisecracking sister, Margo, is played by an actress named Carrie Coon. Gone Girl is her first film role, and she was fantastic! I'll be very interested to see her in future films.

The cast is rounded out by several other actors, many of whom play parts that are very different from what they typically play. Watch for Kim Dickens (Treme), Tyler Perry (The Single Mom's Club), Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous), Sela Ward (House M.D.) and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother).

Music, Cinematography, and Special Effects

- David Fincher and Trent Reznor go back, way back. Fincher actually used a Nine Inch Nails song for the opening credits sequence of Se7en. This is the third David Fincher film that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have scored. Much like their scores to The Social Network and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the music here is very moody, and infused with Reznor's signature Industrial sound. You may or may not notice that it's there at all, but it does do a lot with the atmosphere of the film.

- The cinematography of David Fincher is all about his use of shadows and muted color. It further establishes the moody and foreboding atmosphere of Gone Girl. David Fincher is always a very interesting visual director, and Gone Girl is no exception.

- There are hardly any special effects to speak of in this film. None were required. Visually, Gone Girl has plenty to offer without the use of CGI.

The Bottom Line

While some of David Fincher's work like, Se7en and Fight Club are already on their way to classic status, Gone Girl is easily his highest profile project to date. He rose to the occasion magnificently and delivered a film that not only lived up to, but exceeded the hype. Gone Girl is an exciting, relevant and intelligent work of art with one of the most elegant endings I have seen in many years. Highly recommended! 9/10

For those of you who saw Gone Girl, What did you think?

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I read the book two years ago and heard that they've changed the ending. Since I didn't see the movie, what happened to the end? Great review. Voted up!

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