I often make the comment that I don't read any books, because if they're any good Hollywood will adapt them to the big screen. Sorry, bookworms - it's just the way I feel, so it should be no surprise I never read the book Gone Girl nor knew anything about the plot. I feel that reading the book that inspired this film would have taken all the dark intrigue out of the movie. Being clueless allowed me to be locked into the twists and turns of Gone Girl from the start to finish thanks to director David Fincher, who was made to helm this dark thriller.
Gone Girl starts with the strange disappearance of Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund Pike in a breakout role. Pike under the tutelage of Fincher, who is known for getting the best out of his actresses, gives a standout performance as the missing wife. You may ask "How can she give a great lead performance if she's missing?". Thanks to Fincher, the missing Amy is in a substantial part of Gone Girl through a series of flashbacks. He seems to have mastered the flashback technique in his past work - Social Network and Fight Club. I don't want to spoil too much about Pike's character, but I will say expect her name to be called for Oscar nominations in January.
At the center of the movie is the aloof husband, Nick (Ben Affleck) who you can't figure out if he's shocked, conniving or just plain dumb. It may end up being a little of all three. Affleck gives another solid performance that will again be overshadowed by the strong female roles including the second break out performance of Gone Girl, Carrie Coon. As Nick's twin sister Margo, Coon shines as the loyal sister who stands by her brother's side during the media circus that comes to town when the rich suburban wife goes missing under strange circumstances. She is the one real person in this sea of strange character madness thanks to the standout job of Coon. Let the Oscar race begin with Gone Girl, especially for the ladies of the cast.
Speaking of the cast - Gone Girl's ensemble is a strange mix where everyone plays their characters perfect no matter how big or small. From Tyler Perry ditching the wig and playing the high-priced headline grabbing lawyer to former Happy Endings star, Casey Wilson playing the media go-to stereotypically ditzy housewife next door. Fincher gets the most out of all his actors and again proves that he is one of the best directors to handle a big cast. Everyone in the cast seems to flourish under Fincher by delivering roles that will benefit their careers moving forward. You'll be sucked into the dark journey the film takes and wondering what craziness will happen next. Before Gone Girl is over you will have seen one of the best movie villains on-screen in a long time. Some may feel frustrated by the conclusion of Gone Girl, but I believe that is the point is to become enraged from unbelievable actions you have no control over.
Overall, I give Gone Girl 3.5 out of 4 stars.
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