David Fincher is a mad genius at bending the detective genre. So when the trailers first came out for Gone Girl (I've never read the book) I had to assume this was gonna be an epic dark husband searches for wife "detective" flick. It's got all of the components available to make that kind of a movie.
But that's not what it became. And I'm sure the source material wouldn't have allowed such a film in the first place. What it did allow was something completely surprising and fun and just bugnuts unbelievable. Yet Gone Girl makes a perfect kind of sense, It is the story of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) trying to find his missing wife, but it's also a story of public perception and the way we allow media to shape the truth these days. In some ways, the diary left behind by Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) seems like the story we'd hate to like to believe. But there are too many other factors involved...
Obviously I'm trying not to give anything crucial away, but Gone Girl's the first big flick of the 2014 award season... and it's blowing up. Everyone seems to be on board and that's because there's something so deliciously scandalous about the story. And when done this well, that's the kind of story everyone enjoys. Pure gossip. I feel weird talking about gossip in such a positive light, but this story just works so well to get you into that mode of thought. He said she said. It's too explosive. In all the right ways.
Ben Affleck is great in a role that has to be too cold at times. He's just enough under the surface to leave the audience wondering if we're seeing the real Nick Dunne or not. Likewise, Rosamund Pike is excellent. She still uses her patented brand of quirk but in a wonderful new kind of way... taking on different shapes as the script asks her to. Neil Patrick Harris is bizarre, but I feel he's meant to be and I really liked having him there as a piece of this puzzle. And Tyler Perry impressed me. He fits the role of Tanner Bolt pretty perfectly. Carrie Coon is just great. And the same can be said for Kim Dickens.
Gone Girl is one of those rare films that you kind of obsess over for a few days after seeing. It's just too insane. But for so many reasons you can't help but like it. This is pure Oscar bait. And I can't wait to see it up there... then again I can't wait to see what it'll be going up against. It's far too early to tell, but this will be in the running for one of the ten (or nine or eight or however many) best picture nominees when the ballots finally come out.