Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Gone Girl


(2014) ***

On his fifth wedding anniversary Nick (Ben Affleck) comes home and finds that his famous children’s book author wife, Amy, is missing. Given Amy’s tremendous popularity, the media have a field day with this and quickly indict Nick via Nancy Grace-type television coverage. Every move Nick makes is scrutinized and interpreted as evidence of his guilt. Flashbacks reveal how Nick’s once picture perfect marriage disintegrated following a series of setbacks including both losing their jobs and being forced to move from New York City to boring Missouri to care for Nick’s ailing mother. Throughout this period of their marriage Nick becomes emotionally detached from Amy and has an affair with one of his students. As more clues are uncovered, including Amy’s diary, Nick finds his days as a free man numbered.

Ostensibly ‘Gone Girl’ is a murder mystery. The plot is familiar enough (i.e. people who appear happy on the surface have secrets) and the social commentary about the quick-to-judgment social media has been done before. Despite the familiar material, the cast, direction, and cinematography are top-notch. I must confess that I have not read the book and I knew nothing about the story going into the theater. Why only 3 stars? Gone Girl shifts its tone throughout the story. There are no likable characters, no one to root for and there are huge sea changes in the story’s direction. More than once I thought, “Wait, what?” By the third act I was mentally exhausted and I didn’t like the ending. I am certain that this film will polarize people and I encourage everyone to check it out.

8 comments:

AC said...

Sorry you didn't like it, JPX, but glad you saw it.

JPX said...

Oh I liked it but I was somewhat surprised by the direction it took. I think others will like it and determine that I'm just being cranky. It engaged me to the end - it is definitely a good example of psychopathy.

AC said...

You might give the book a try at some point because the psychopathy theme is better done there. It's a very fast read, and then you can enter the (eventual, possibly in person) discussion/debate with me and DCD!

Trevor said...

Thanks for not spoiling anything. I know there's a twist, but I haven't read/seen it yet.

Mr. AC said...

I love it when someone else watches/reviews something that I have already seen (speaking of which, my V/H/S/2 review is in press, JPX). Getting someone else's perspective, even if that person is a cranky curmudgeon, is almost always thought provoking.

JPX said...

Don't worry, Trevor, I think spoiling a movie is the 13th deadliest sin! Mr. AC I am happy you watched V/H/S 2! Did AC join in?

Mr. AC said...

JPX - Nope. Too bloody for AC's taste.

DCD said...

I didn't leave any specifics on AC's review but I had much the same reaction to the book. I actually skipped ahead - something I never do - because I was frustrated and annoyed by the characters. A good discussion shall be had, AC!