(all the spoilers are written in light font, to read them highlight the text)
"When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily. I’d know her head anywhere. And what’s inside it.
I think of that, too: her mind. Her brain, all those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast, frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down her thoughts. What are you thinking, Amy? The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage:
What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?"
- the opening lines of Gone Girl
Almost exactly a year ago I made this post about The Counselor, which turned out to be a massive pile of shit and even managed to make Michael Fassbender look horribly unattractive. Now I'm anticipating yet another movie and since I've just recently read the book and I'm too tired to come up with anything else to post, let's talk about Gone Girl.
Why have I brought up The Counselor? Because back then I was also familiar with the source material before seeing the film - I read the script by Cormac McCarthy and what was not all bad on paper turned into one huge embarrassment of a movie. It doesn't look like it's gonna be the case with Gone Girl which has far, far superior story and the director behind it. Also, unlike with The Counselor, I think the Oscar buzz for this movie may actually amount to something. Because if Rosamund Pike is given anything less than a flood of nominations and wins then either she or Fincher screwed up. To play a character like THAT and not do her justice would be criminal.
The book is written in a quite a challenging way - a husband, Nick Dunne, discovers his wife is gone. The next chapter is a diary entry of his missing wife, Amy, detailing the past events of their relationship. Then we move to Nick again, then to diary, then Nick, diary and so on, until a bit later than halfway through there is change in narrative, one that may be a challenge to show on screen.
How will they do this? So much of the story dynamics, especially the 3rd act, which as thought provoking as it is, works solely because of those detailed inner monologues we are privy to read. How will it translate to screen? We get to read these people thoughts so I think we may be in for some lengthy voice over from Amy, but with Nick? We may rely on his face letting us know what he is thinking and hopefully Affleck is game for that. I feel this is his last chance to stop being ridiculed as an actor.
But in the meantime, here are the most awesome things to look forward to:
yet again composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. While I'm not the biggest fan of this kind of music - the one that goes with the movie but is almost impossible to listen to outside of it, I'm sure that they'll do a great job and hopefully there will be at least one memorable track again, as was the case with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
despite a lot of eye brows being raised when the choices for the characters were announced, the casting is actually brilliant. Ben Affleck's Nick is described as the guy whose face you want to punch. Just look at him. Neil Patrick Harris is a wonderful choice for his creepy, posh character and Emily Ratajkowski's Andie was described as 'an alien fuck doll of a girl' in the book. Accurate is accurate. Hell, even Tyler Perry looks like the right choice for confident and brilliant lawyer defending Nick. Then there's a completely unknown to me Carrie Coon who is going to play a wonderful character of Nick Dunne's twin sister. And Pike? That is a fantastic choice.
How misleading the trailers are
we haven't seen a single glimpse of the story's biggest twists and turns in either of the trailers. Not even a glimpse of the scene that the twists take place in. Hell, they are even sneaking in red herrings there. Short of horrible posters, the marketing is brilliant.
The script is written by the author of the book
the worst thing to say about adaptation is that the choices made by those adapting it are nowhere near as great or even coherent as the choices made by the author of the source material nor are they justified (*coughs* Game of Thrones *coughs*). Fortunately, here it's the author of the book herself writing the script.
while I do think the book is incredible - but not flawless, the third act is quite sloppy and the whole Jeff/Greta subplot is incredibly boring and insulting to the character involved, I'm excited to see if Flynn will take this opportunity to develop some story arcs and scenes some more, mostly the book's controversial ending which ends in quite an open way. Something is said and you just know one day, maybe even this day, there will be consequences to this.
It's David Fincher's film
Need I say more?
The scavenger hunt
this is such a clever plot device - Amy goes missing on the day of hers and Nick's 5th anniversary. Just like she did every previous year, she prepared a quest for him before she was gone - 5 clues, each being a new message for him, new riddle to solve based on their past experiences. It's such a fun and clever way to keep Nick looking for Amy and clues, instead of just waiting for the cops. It also has several mysteries and revelations attached to it.
The twists and the turns
There have been surprises in The Girl with the dragon Tattoo but not since Fight Club had Fincher had an opportunity to drop a plot twist this massive on the audience. It's actually a series of plot twists that come one after one but the one in particular is just mind blowing. When I think of the story I actually can't stop thinking of one of my favorite movies SPOILERS I can just hear Walter Sobchack say this fucking bitch, this fucking whore, she kidnapped herself! END OF SPOILERS There's also a box that includes something creepy. Hm....where did we see that before?
The character of Amy Elliott Dunne
I truly think Rosamund Pike was born to play that role. She is very pretty but there is something not quite right - her eyes sometimes looking very cold, her smile not quite sincere. As Amy she may have a chance to play everything - every single emotion there is. It's a little bit like Betty and Diane from Mulholland Drive and what is my favorite performance of all time - Naomi Watts' work as these two sides of one coin - there are so many versions of Amy and only one of them is real. Having seen Pike as unhappy wife in Fugitive Pieces, cheerful, charming and elegant girl in An Education (a performance that should have been Oscar nominated) and naive, loving blonde in love in Pride and Prejudice, I have no doubt that this will the role of the year. Pike is someone who can look stunning and at other times mousy. She can look incredibly innocent in one moment and sinister, dead inside, dangerous in another. She is Amy.
|Rosamund Pike, photographed by David Fincher for W magazine|
I hope Amy's remarks and thoughts, especially her 'Cool girl' monologue and her utter contempt for most people (all people?) in her life will be in the movie. I found myself agreeing with a lot of her thoughts - about how pregnant women are wrong in feeling superior to others, about how each man basically just wants a woman who lets him do anything he wants. I was also a bit shocked she didn't do anything to Andie. I'm gonna sound like a disturbed person, but it's the truth - I'd go after her.
Amy is such a fascinating character - Molotov cocktail of brilliance, narcissism, being disturbed beyond imagination, displaying constant need for praise, approval, admiration, but also someone who is always wanting more and is chronically unhappy. Her brilliance makes her admirable, but all the other stuff thrown in turns her into pure evil. Fascinating evil, but the kind of evil that really creeps you out, sends shivers down your spine, makes you wince when it touches you. END OF SPOILERS
Rooney Mara was just splendid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Her Lisbeth is an amazing character. She is an avenging angel, she is unique, she is one of a kind. But Amy? There are thousands of Amys out there, just not quite on her level. SPOILERS But Amy Dunne's brilliance and patience singles her out. In a horribly, horribly unsettling kind of way.END OF SPOILERS
The film opens in early October and has its world premiere on the opening night of New York film festival. It's just a perfect material for Fincher - the kind of thing that might have been written just for him to direct. And I'm thrilled that after years of being underrated Rosamund Pike is going to have her big break at last.