Monday, September 22, 2014

Are you ready to meet Amazing Amy? + 5 essential performances by Rosamund Pike

By Sati. Monday, September 22, 2014 , , , , , , ,

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)

"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)
Are you ready for Amy?

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:

42 comments:

  1. Great post! I can already tell by looking at her that she'll be the perfect Amy. (I kind of already want to punch her..and that's perfect)

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    1. I think there will be two teams - those who want to punch her and those who want to kick Nick in the balls. I'm firmly in the latter :)

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    2. Three teams, because I'd actually like to do both. lol

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    3. Haha, oh man I hope you at least like Camille in Sharp Objects!

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    4. I liked Camille, and I liked Libby in Dark Places as well.

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    5. I didn't really like Libby this much, she just didn't interest me as Amy and didn't seem like a decent person which was, surprisingly for Flynn, the case with Camille. Come to think of it I didn't find anyone in Dark Places that likable, other than Libby's aunt. Good God I hope they will leave the dog moment out of the adaptation

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  2. Good post here. I agree, can't imagine anyone but here playing Amy. After seeing the first trailer, I tweeted that her voiceovers are the best thing, it's so haunting and intrigue. I also read Indiewire review and it was horrible. But anyway, I'm happy Gone Girl gets some solid reviews. I think it's still underrated in Oscar race. If Flynn so perfectly adapted her own novel, I think she deserves an Oscar. Having read the book, I'm sure it's one of the best materials to film and if Fincher [and he will] does it in a good way, there is nothing that can stop Gone Girl's huge success.

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    1. Her voice overs sound amazing, she has such a fantastic voice! Indiewire people are just an embarrassment, they just disagree to disagree and in this case spectacularly misunderstood the story and the characters.

      I'd love to see Flynn on the stage with her Oscar, I adore her writing

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  3. Great post for a fantastic and criminally underrated actress! My personal favorite performance of Pike's is as Helen in An Education (soon to be topped by what will be one of the best performances of the year: Amazing Amy in Gone Girl). I'm so excited for the film and her performance in it, and I hope it will lead to her getting cast in more films!! :D

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    1. Thank you! I hope so too, she really deserves to play lead roles. She is so gorgeous and talented it's insane that so many Bond girls had their big breaks thanks to those movies but she had to wait for more than a decade

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  4. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy... it is getting closer and closer and I can't wait.

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    1. I'm gonna be seeing this in about 3 weeks...my review is gonna be like 50 paragraphs long :)

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  5. She is just amazing and a true beauty. Julianne Hough was going to play the role in Gone Girl? That harlot couldn't fucking act to save her goddamn life.

    My favorite performance from Pike so far has been in Barney's Version as I just loved how understated she is. I also enjoyed her in The World's End where she was pretty damn funny. The woman deserves to get some attention. Plus, she was one of the few highlights in the godawful Die Another Day.

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    1. Haha, I don't even know who Hough is, but wasn't she in that Nicholas Sparks' adaptation? Your assessment sounds spot on if yes :)

      She was one of the very few aspects of the World's End I enjoyed, wonderful that she can do comedy so well in addition to being great in drama

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    2. Yep, she was in that movie where she falls for a widower where the twist ending is that the woman she keeps seeing is that widower's dead wife. She also couldn't sing worth a shit after watching the debacle that is Rock of Ages.

      It's good to know that Gone Girl is getting excellent reviews as I will pick up the soundtrack as part of my NIN collection.

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    3. I heard of that twist and i laughed so hard! This sounds like a truly ridiculous movie.

      I cannot wait for the soundtrack, I'm about to publish a post on that :)

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  6. So people are divided into those who hate Amy and those who hate Nick? This is interesting.
    I watched 'An education', well, skimmed through it, but the ending was good. I needed that, especially now that the school year has begun.
    Oh and in your last article I read you seeing a girl looking just like Sophie Turner, but then you ruled that option out because there is not way she is in your country. I am sorry if I am being a little rude or invading your privacy, but I always thought you are British. Are you? I live in Bulgaria.

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    1. Yes, I think it depends on whether you are a man or a woman :)

      You're not being rude, don't worry, it's just I don't talk of personal things like that on the net, with how people are you have to be careful. But I don't live in English speaking country, oh if I lived in UK I would just ride trains to meet Stephen :)

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    2. I agree with you and respect your decision and privacy. :)
      So English isn't your mother tongue? Wow. I was just surprised as you do sound like a native and use more of an advanced vocabulary. That's all. :)

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    3. It isn't :) I get this a lot actually, I studied several languages but English is the one I use the most plus I watch films, TV series and read books in English so it's all because of never losing the contact with the language. I studied French for 6 years but never get to use it, so I barely remember it

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    4. Oh yes, because I don't live in an English speaking country too and the language is all over the place.
      People say that French is very hard, do you agree on that? Because it does sound hard.

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    5. It is very hard, they have all those words in front of other words - la, le, un, une, it's hard to remember all of that. And I could never understand them talking - it's way too fast and the words just blend together. I can read in French, maybe write something too but understanding a person in France speaking in that language would be difficult :)

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  7. Terrific post! Her role in Pride and Prejudice is my favorite.

    Based on the novel, I hated both Amy and Nick. I have to give huge kudos to the author for getting me that engrossed in a novel about characters I couldn't warm up to. The different perspectives, the way she plays with unreliable narrators, and the messy, ever-shifting psychological dynamics was more than enough to keep me hooked.

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    1. Thank you! I loved Flynn's way of writing so much I read her two other books, she is such a terrific storyteller. I very much admired Amy and related to many of her thoughts, but in the end she didn't understand love so I couldn't fully understand her. She was not human, she evolved past it, it seemed to me. Meanwhile Nick was just a weak douchebag.

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  8. Great post! I can't wait to see Gone Girl. I've always like Rosamund Pike in the movies I've seen her in. Hopefully this role opens more doors for her (and an Oscar nod as well).

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping for a win, it would be so boring if baity role from Moore won

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  9. Great post!! Glad to hear the praises of her performance... a career-defining performance, wow that's quite something. Hopefully she'd garner some kudos come award season if she indeed deserves it.

    I LOVE her in Pride & Prejudice and An Education. She's even memorable in Jack Reacher opposite Tom Cruise. I knew you'd list Fugitive Pieces too, which reminds me I still need to seek that one out!

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    1. Thank you! I haven't seen Jack Reacher but I may do that just for her. YES please watch Fugitive Pieces! :)

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    2. I've been looking for it and it says that Fugitive Pieces is available on Amazon Prime streaming but I didn't see it, I might have to ask my friend to rent the dvd from Netflix, I only have the Streaming subscription. If you have a link to watch it online, do let me know :D

      Btw, I read this article where Gillian Flynn interviewed Rosamund Pike about Gone Girl in Glamour's October Issue http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/blogs/obsessed/2014/09/rosamund-pike-gillian-flynn-gone-girl-interview Not sure if you've seen it or not :D

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    3. Damn, I hope you'll get to see it! I have it on dvd so I'm not sure where to stream it :/

      That's such a fun interview especially the part about Neil Patrick Harris :P

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  10. Tremendous post, because I had absolutely no idea Pike was getting so much praise...I'm obviously not paying much attention toward Gone Girl, but now you've got my attention. This quote really grabbed me: "with any luck Gone Girl should bag her an Oscar nomination come awards season."

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    1. Thanks! Why didn't you pay attention before? It's Fincher! :)

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    2. You're right, but the initial trailer just seemed so cheesy in my opinion. Probably an intentional Fincher twist!

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    3. I think it was intentional - the story is in a big part about the public image and the pretending. That they are happy and perfect. Oh boy, are they not :)

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  11. Totally have to catch up with Rosamund movies before Gone Girl. Sadly I haven't seen any one on the list except for P&P, which I thought she was truly lovely.
    With all of the praise for Gone Girl, I'm trying to stay positive it will make it to Oscar/award seasons for at least either Ben or Rosamund. Something tells me it'll be one or the other because there are going to be other strong contenders coming up - but I hope so!

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    1. See Fugitive Pieces! :)

      I don't think there is any way Affleck will be in and Pike won't - she makes this movie for what it is, there is no story without Amy, there is no huge WTF OMG without Amy :) Actor category is far stronger this year than the actress one too.

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  12. A lot of people don't realize how difficult it is to play "dumb" or slow or simple minded. So, I've always thought her work in An Education was incredible. She's just the right amount of out there, and I really dig it.

    Another great Fincher-related list!

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    1. Thank you! So glad you liked her work in An Education, it's so underrated.

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  13. Great post Sati, Rosamund Pike is really incredible. I can't wait for 'Gone Girl.' I like her in everything I've seen her in. Even in popcorn films like "Surrogates."

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, she was really good in Surrogates!

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  14. Wonderful post! Thrilled to see her delightful performance in An Education so high. She's already a CinSpec nominee for that. :)

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    1. So glad you nominated her, she is so underrated in that!

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