Gone Girl – Film Review

Gone Girl

I’m not* going to attempt a full review of Gone Girl because I feel like there is so much loud praise for the film it really doesn’t need my feeble voice added to the mix. Having been to see it earlier this week however I can’t just say nothing. I am a blogger and so I must blog. For those unaware Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) a couple in an imperfect marriage. The film begins as Amy goes missing and Nick finds himself in a media whirlwind as suspicions run rampant. Did Nick murder his wife?

As someone who has read Gillian Flynn’s original novel I came to the film with certain expectations. My brain had already done its own casting, built all the sets, and written the score. I was also already aware of the satisfying reveal that comes neatly at the centre of both novel and film providing a perspective shift and keeping the questions running through your mind from getting too repetitive.

Luckily David Fincher must have peered into my mind as a lot of what I saw on-screen matched my imagination. As a result I wasn’t wasting any time mentally complaining about the layout of a house or colour of someone’s shirt. I had been slightly worried about the casting of Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s obsessive ex Desi Collings but I was proved wrong as Harris gave the perfect performance as a pathetic but controlling man. Similarly Affleck and Pike fit their roles to a tee; neither being wholly likeable or trustworthy but both proving enigmatic despite their failure to generate sympathy. Trying to read the machinations behind their eyes is a game you are unlikely to win.

Gone Girl - Rosamund Pike

My only disappointment with Gone Girl is that I could not watch the film from a completely uninformed point of view and experience each twist and turn with fresh eyes. Regardless of this Gone Girl was a gripping thriller that had me second guessing myself to the end. It may not be Fincher’s finest but is certainly in the better half of his body of work. Gillian Flynn has made good work of adapting her own book; her faithful approach to the text will satisfy diehard fans fearing Hollywood sabotage and cinephiles shouldn’t detect any first-time screenwriter foibles.

Fans of the book will love Gone Girl. Fans of Fincher will too. It’s rare to get a proper 18 certificate film these days and Gone Girl certainly doesn’t shy away from showing you the seedier elements of the story. Dark, tense, and deeply engrossing you will find it hard to tear your eyes away from the screen but at times might need to look away for some relief.

See this as soon as possible or risk having a carefully plotted, if slightly implausible, film spoiled for you.

Gone Girl is in UK cinemas from today.

*Or at least I wasn’t planning to

The Social Network – Review

When I first heard that the guy who wrote The West Wing was writing a film about Facebook I thought it sounded ridiculous but after the first trailer I knew I was wrong.

With Aaron Sorkin you are guaranteed a certain level of quality and speed of dialogue, and with 8 pages of dialogue being delivered within the few minutes that make up the opening scene, you are prepared the the rest of the film. Witty conversations fly back and forth as the film thunders forward at an amazing pace.

This pace is maintained by David Fincher, a directer with plenty to be proud of on his IMDb page, who manages to keep people either talking or typing on computers engaging for a full two hours. Not to mention pulling off a brilliant bit of actor duplication with the twins.

Jesse Eisenberg plays a brilliantly mannered version of Zuckerberg, different to his previous roles, a social awkward figure who has no real ambition to make money, just to make a successful website. That social awkwardness makes Zuckerberg for the most part hard to sympathise with, and yet you don’t really side with those that attack him either.

Andrew Garfield as Zuckerberg’s former best friend probably garners the most sympathy as the betrayed former business partner, and he certainly proves his worth as a big up and coming actor. In what is an amazing film there is surprisingly little heart. Almost every character is looking out for their own personal gain, either for money, acclaim or sex, leaving no one to really root for.

That niggle is easily put aside though when you are presented with such a great bit of cinema, recommended for anyone who has ever updated their status. Especially if they’ve ever done it when drunk.

The Social Network is out this Friday.

Most scathing comment in the film: “Good luck with your game”

The Social Network – Trailer

Below is the first teaser trailer for The Social Network written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher it details the unexpected and utterly ruthless rise of facebook, the site we all loathe yet all have an account on.

From what I’ve read the film pulls no punches and this teaser and the lovely looking poster have made me more than a little excited. I am a little worried that they forgot to take the lens cap off the camera though…

http://flash.sonypictures.com/video/universalplayer/sharedPlayer.swf