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A Movie in 3 Acts: GONE GIRL

Monday, October 6, 2014

David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-seller racked up $38 million opening weekend at the box office.  The 3pm screening I attended was jam packed! Many real film buffs tend to hate movies with a lot of buzz; but I love the energy that happens around a movie which captures the masses attention, and this one has been gaining momentum since its September world premiere, opening night of the 52nd New York Film Festival.

Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike (see my post on Hector and the Search for Happiness for more on Pike) It's about a housewife, Amy (Pike) who disappears from an upper middle class suburb in Missouri, under circumstances that appear to be kidnapping or murder, and as these cases tend to lean, the husband, Nick (Affleck) is being looked at as the prime suspect.

However, the interesting part of the movie comes from the psychology of this couple.  They meet in New York where they're both working as writers for different magazines. They have one of those quick, on your feet, witty banter exchanges at a party that sets a made-for-each-other romance in motion.  But underneath neither one feels like they are good enough for the other. Amy is a trust fund baby. Her parents are a writing duo of an extremely popular series of children's books called "Amazing Amy". During Amy's lifetime, her parents would take her real life failures or childhood disappointments and turn them into triumphs for her alter-ego Amazing Amy, compounding a false sense of self for the Amy outside of the novels.  Nick is a simple boy from Missouri trying to make it in the big city and seems somewhat relieved when both he and Amy lose their jobs in the recession which destroyed so many print magazines. Nick then makes the decision to move them to Missouri which also allows for him to care for his ailing mother. Amy feels like an afterthought in Nick's plans.

Photo: Merrick Morton - TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
Not for sale or duplication.

Most of the movie is told in real time, but there's such a richness to the weave that fills us in on who these people may or may not be, as seen through the eyes of Amy's diary, Nick's close relationship with his twin sister, Margot (Carrie Coon) and by the police, headed up by Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) which is a great character.  As well as the "Nancy Grace" character (Missi Pyle). I also think the role of Amy is going to do for Rosamund Pike what Alex did for Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

The movie could use a little trim, and some may feel Flynn's book and screenplay jumps the shark a bit at some points, which is why I call it a movie in 3 Acts, but I gotta say, I liked it.  The film on the whole is an interesting commentary on the media circus, public judgement and sway we've seen play out in these kinds of cases over the last decade or so. Fincher (Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, The Social Network) proves once again with Gone Girl, it doesn't matter what the story is about, but how you tell it!


Photo: Merrick Morton - TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
Not for sale or duplication.

1) Isn't it funny that Ben Affleck's directorial debut was called Gone Baby Gone, did this have anything to do with him being thought of for this role?

2) I saw 3 movies back to back in one block of time, first Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (T&T post to come) which stars Affleck's wife Jennifer Garner, so it's interesting they have movies out at the same time.  Wonder how that feels in the same household?

3) The 2nd movie I saw was Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins. As much as I enjoy both of these actor/comedians, this movie was not as Indie-licious as I'd hoped. But it seems that the collective unconscious is at work again in that both Gone Girl and The Skeleton Twins examine boy, girl twin sibling relationships.

4) Emily Ratajkowski is making a career out of having amazing tits.  She's the really cute girl in Robin Thicke's Music Video "Blurred Lines" and she's topless on top of Affleck in Gone Girl.

5) Did you know? - One of the film's producers, Leslie Dixon, read the manuscript of the novel in 2011 and brought it to the attention of Reese Witherspoon . Witherspoon and Dixon then collaborated with Bruna Papandrea to develop it.

T &T's LAMB Score: 4 outta 5

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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