ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

Movie Review: Gone Girl.

Directed By: David Fincher.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Carrie Coon and Neil Patrick Harris.

On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne comes home to discover that his wife, Amy, has disappeared. As Nick searches for clues, he is suspected by the police, the media and even those closest to him, but.....did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Gone Girl is the film adaptation of the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn who also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film is directed by David Fincher (Fight Club) who is responsible for quite a few of my all time favorite films. Ben Affleck (Argo) stars as Nick Dunne, a handsome, smug, friendly writer who comes home on the morning of his fifth anniversary and finds a broken table, blood and his wife to be missing.

A missing persons investigation quickly follows and the film becomes a murder mystery as Nick and the police try and find out who has taken his wife. To the police and most people around him, all signs point to Nick being the culprit. The media gets involved and Nick finds himself under scrutiny, so he hires Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) to defend him and help protect his public image.

Gone Girl is a film that I had been anticipating ever since its announcement, because of its cast, its premise and most importantly its director. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that David Fincher is one of my all time favorite directors mostly because of his tremendous work on Fight Club and The Social Network. Fincher has always been a very meticulous film maker, taking around 30 takes for each scene just so he can get it absolutely perfect. Gone Girl is no exception to this, Fincher has yet again directed an incredibly precise and thoroughly enteraining film!

Gone Girl is a hauntingly twisted and sadistic thriller that plays with marriage, murder and the public's perception of people under investigation. I have unfortunately yet to read the novel that the film is based off but I am certainly excited to because this story had me hooked from the very beginning.

Gillian Flynn's script is a thing of pure beauty, its filled with sharp and sometimes humorous writing that is almost as provocative as it is disturbing. The film switches between the story of Amy's (Rosamund Pike) disappearance and the rise and fall of Nick and Amy's fairy-tale romance. The film's non linear structure allowed the audience time to breathe between each of the two stories. The structures also gives more time for the film to develop each of the characters so by the very end of the film, we know these characters inside and out.

As with every other Fincher film, Gone Girl looks astounding. The cinematography just blew me away, almost every shot would be acceptable to hang on your wall as a piece of art. Like "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", Gone Girl has a very gritty yet attractive aesthetic that makes this a sure contender for Best Cinematography at next years Oscars.

I think its about time I talked about the cast of this film because this film features some of the best performances I've seen all year. From Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in the two lead roles to Tyler Perry and Carrie Coon in the supporting cast, this film is stacked with great performances. In recent years Ben Affleck has really upped his game in terms of acting and Gone Girl might be his best performance ever, he is smug and kind yet intimidating and from what I'm hearing, he's the perfect fit for the character in the book. Affleck and Fincher used the character of Nick excellently, as an audience member, we are never sure if Nick did kill his wife or not and Affleck and Fincher show us just enough to keep us guessing. Whilst I don't think Ben Affleck will be nominated at next years Oscars because of the stacked year of good male performances this year has been, he is definitely deserving of a statue for his work here.

Rosamund Pike has always been a serviceable actress but none of her work has ever impressed me, that is until Gone Girl. The character of Amy is one that went in so many surprising directions and Rosamund Pike played the character perfectly. From the trailers it didn't seem like the character of Amy would have a large amount of screen time but this is definitely a co-leading role and one that is definitely Oscar worthy. Pike is seductive, sympathetic and gives the best female performance I've seen all year. I won't go into any more detail on the character of Amy because I really do not want to spoil the plot for anyone who has yet to see the film.

The supporting cast of the film is also very strong. Carrie Coon plays Nick's twin sister, Margo and she impressed me throughout, I thought she was one of the best characters in the film. But the most surprising cast member was Tyler Perry who is known for not being that great of an actor director but Fincher used Perry's strengths to his advantage and crafted a great character and got a surprisingly great performance out of Perry.

The only weak link here is Neil Patrick Harris who really made him self stand out and not for the best reasons. He plays a character who obsesses over Amy, he's been obsessed with her since high school and he plays quite a small but key character in the story. Neil Patrick Harris is a great comedic performer and is used to really chewing up the scenery on most of his projects. And whilst this role called for a creep factor, Harris overplayed the character to the point where he didn't feel like he was in the right movie. I think this role was really miscast and I love Neil Patrick Harris, I think he's great....but this wasn't the right character for him. When the character is emotional, Harris goes a bit too far but when his character is more subdued and quiet, Harris almost feels flat. But that's about it for my only disappointing with the cast, everyone else performed excellently.

As with "The Social Network" and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide the score for the film and whilst it isn't as flashy as those other scores, it is absolutely perfect. The score goes from dream like to spine chilling constantly and that is part of the reason I was always on edge throughout this movie.

Halfway through the film, I was thrown off by a part of the story and during this section I wasn't enjoying it as much as I was enjoying the rest of the film but after more thought and getting over my personal expectation for the film, I realized that this unexpected twist was absolutely perfect. Fincher did what he does best, he did surprise and at first I wasn't comfortable with it but Fincher doesn't always make the comfortable choice....which is why I love him as a filmmaker.

This is a film that is best viewed when knowing nothing! If you're a fan of the book, I still think there is a lot that will surprise you, but if you haven't read the book yet then I'd advise going to see the film knowing nothing because its definitely an experience!

I loved Gone Girl, from its opening shot to the very end. Its an expertly crafted and almost flawless thriller that is extremely entertaining from start to finish. This is by far my favorite movie of 2014 for a lot of reasons. I will be rooting for David Fincher at the Oscars next year for sure. Gone Girl is an excellent flick, and definitely one of Fincher's best. Apart from the one miscast role I don't have any other problems with this film, its 2 hour and 30 minute run time flies by and is a film I cannot wait to see again. Of course Gone Girl gets an A+!

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