Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In short: Gone Girl (2014)

I rather want to opt out of the discussion if this film is horribly misogynist and David Fincher consequently a monster or if it is actually a feminist movie (the former interpretation needs one to ignore the actual tone of large parts of the movie, the latter that Amy is a sociopath, just a more effective one than the creeps around her), mostly because I could write a short piece about the film arguing either way but also because I really read this as a film about how horrible people at large are, a cynical and rather bitter attack on the institution of marriage, romance, the contemporary media circus, and the horrors of a culture based on lies and appearances and the horrid shapes people might grow into through it inside.

This is a film where nearly every single character is so heavily flawed he or she tends to the monstrous, the disgusting, or the plain creepy (with Kim Dickens’s Detective Boney and Carrie Coon’s Margo the obvious exceptions that very pointedly aren’t able to do much about anything here). Which might have gotten rather tiresome over 150 minutes of running time if not for Gillian Flynn’s pitch-perfect, intelligent and involving script that never does something boring and nice when it can do something clever and nasty and that is also pretty damn funny in its own dark way, Fincher’s in this case atypically undemonstrative yet highly effective direction, and so much good acting the concept of Oscar nominations actually makes total sense for once. Why, even Ben Affleck (who is quite perfectly cast) gives an nuanced performance here, though of course, Rosamund Pike’s the true stand-out, turning Amy into what I think may be the most frightening sociopath I’ve seen on screen while still acknowledging she’s an actual human being, just one on the borders of what we tell ourselves human beings are supposed to be.

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