The first reviews for Gone Girl arrived. Here's what the critics are saying about Rosamund Pike's performance as Amy - my most anticipated performance of the year:
"Pike, so often a decorative supporting player, delivers a career-defining performance here. She's a revelation, showing a complete command over Amy - with any luck Gone Girl should bag her an Oscar nomination come awards season." - Digital Spy (x)
"Rosamund Pike’s dynamic turn as his fierce wife Amy – the missing woman of the title – should belatedly make the gifted English actress a star." - ScreenDaily (x)
"The author's clever, cruel and cool work also gives Pike the role of a lifetime in the shining, secretive Amy, while still making her human and comprehensible." - The Wrap (x)
"Pike, who’s so often quietly admirable in films of varying quality, has waited more than a decade for a role this juicy, but what amazes you is how methodically she seizes on it: not with the hungry pounce and rip of a wild cat, but the rhythmic constrictions of an anaconda. Amy is the best thing Pike has ever done: her performance is taut and poised, and at times almost masque-like. While her diary voiceovers swoon with emotion, her face gives you almost nothing.
It’s possible that Amy’s darker monologues may induce in female viewers the same double squirm felt by men listening to Edward Norton’s Fight Club voiceover: the shock that someone would ever dare to say such things out loud, coupled with a pit-of-the-stomach throb of recognition. There is a key speech in the novel in which Amy describes the fate of the "cool girl" – the archetypal sexy girlfriend who morphs, unbidden, into a pliant wife — that Pike delivers with a note of venomous triumph that makes you want to cheer." (x) - Telegraph
"About Pike I must—at the behest of the movie’s publicists—say less, although her acting is also a study in acting. In those few moments when the mask slips, she’s tight, frightened, childishly vulnerable, desperately grasping for a sense of control that the universe has denied her. I loved looking at her" - Vulture (x)
"Rosamund Pike, delivering a ghostly yet dominant performance that's the year's biggest surprise" - TimeOut (x)
"Pike is phenomenal as the enigmatic Amy." (x) (even this laughable review by Indiewire praises her)
"Pike, who has been notable in several roles over the past dozen years (Pride & Prejudice, Jack Reacher) but has rarely played full-blown leads, is powerful and commanding. Making Amy even steelier and more brazen than one might have imagined, she evinces no vulnerability but, rather, a strong sense of self-worth, as Amy seems to dare others to size themselves up against her. Physically and emotionally, Pike looks to have immersed herself in this profoundly calculating character, and the results are impressive." - The Hollywood Reporter (x)Are you ready for Amy?
"Still, as its title suggests, “Gone Girl” belongs to its leading lady. Pike is the sort of elegantly composed blonde beauty with whom Hitchcock would have had a field day, and some may well quibble that the actress’s cool British hauteur doesn’t fully capture Amy’s America’s-sweetheart side. Yet as evidenced by her years of solid supporting work, she also possesses the sort of ferocious charisma that magnetizes the screen, and it’s a thrill to watch her fully embrace the showiest, most substantial role of her career. Hers is the low, seductive voice we hear coaxing us through the story’s early passages, and hers is the character who ultimately exhibits the most dynamic range: In any given scene, her Amy can seem vulnerable, aggrieved, calculating, heroic, overmatched, viperous and terrifying." - Variety (x)
The role of Amy Dunne is every actress' dream - rich, complex and fascinating character, a character that gets to show the whole range of emotions, a character that is on its way to become iconic. A hopeful girl turned unhappy wife, spoiled only child, brilliant and angry woman but most of all - an enigma. And finally - Gone Girl.
Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Abbie Cornish and Julianne Hough were considered for the role of Amy Dunne. While some of these choices could work - Cornish or Blunt - and some would have been awful - Witherspoon, Mara, Portman, Wilde - I cannot imagine anyone better suited for the role than Rosamund Pike, an actress who was in movies for many years now but still didn't get to have a big break.
Well, it's all about to change.
”Fincher zeroed in on Pike for the role because he had “always liked Rosamund in movies, but [he] didn’t really know her”—a mysterious quality she exhibited that “made her very interesting.” When it came time to officially cast the actress, who had returned to Scotland by this time, Fincher opted to alert her via the most casual means possible. Writes W’s Lynn Hirschberg, “Weeks after returning to Scotland, Pike received a text message from Fincher, saying, ‘You have the part,’ which she accidentally erased.” (x)Pike was once a Bond girl and she also starred alongside of Bruce Willis, Ryan Gosling, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise. She did everything - costume movies, science fiction, action, thrillers, dramas, comedies. She is very versatile, gorgeous and talented. Fincher said that she reminds him of Faye Dunaway and he didn't have second thoughts about offering the part of Amy to her.
Let's take a look at her five most impressive performances so far:
5. Pride and Prejudice / Jane Bennett
Pike was dating the director Joe Wright at the time of making of the movie - perhaps that is why he shot her as almost impossibly angelic, delicate and sweet. She is all those things in the movie, embodying her lovely character with all the charm and grace. The proposal scene, while having otherwise irritating saccharine quality to it, strikes so real and powerful precisely because of Pike's performance and how genuine she makes her character's joy.
4. Made in Dagenham / Lisa Hopkins
In a very underseen movie Pike plays a trophy wife to a wealthy and cold businessman, who dismisses the idea that his wife can have an opinion and life of her own. Pike doesn't have a lot of screentime but she does so much with her part - energetic and proud when speaking her mind and sad and melancholic when she talks of her life or gets silenced by her husband. There's is a wonderful moment when she stands up to him near the end of the movie - Pike needs just one look and one word to put him in his place.
3. Fugitive Pieces / Alex
In wonderful film Pike plays a charming, lively girl who falls in love with Holocaust survivor and a writer (beautifully played by Stephen Dillane). She is all light and he has all this darkness in him. Alex tries to help him, get him to open up, but heartbreakingly fails. She has many fantastic moments in the film but I was especially impressed with her last scene when some time after they divorced and Jakob is having a book party Alex comes over to see him. You can just see her sadness about what has happened to him and about their love lost in her eyes.
2. An Education / Helen
I always name this performance when asked 'what are some of the worst Oscar snubs?'. The film got an Oscar attention, but Pike who created an interesting character basically out of thin air, didn't end up getting nominated. Her Helen is gorgeous, elegant and fun. But she is also very silly and everyone prevents her from realizing that fact. Pike captures the confusion of those moments and she shows that Helen does - on some level - understand it and hates - and at the same time loves - being shielded like that. Pike also adds a lot of humour to the film and ultimately creates a very sweet character. She is so innocent - like a child that just wants to play with toys and doesn't ever want to face the real world.
1. Barney's Version / Miriam
While I think the movie is very flawed and tiresome, in spite of Giamatti's Golden Globe win in a ridiculous category fraud - this is in no way a comedy - it is worth seeing just to witness Pike's lovely, warm and beautiful performance as Miriam. She is absolutely enchanting - so enchanting in fact, that Giamatti's character falls in love with her instantly...during the party after his wedding to another woman. Pike plays a strong, compassionate and charming woman who is not afraid to be vulnerable and let love in her life. She also has such pride and dignity and warmth about her. She's quite simply a vision of lovely.
Other posts in David Fincher Blog Event: