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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cine Beaverhausen: Gone Girl


David Fincher is the fashionable director of mainstream movies with art house airs. He previously directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the overwrought Panic Room with Jodie Foster, and the manic Fight Club. Why, the one-time music-video director has worked with Madonna and lived to tell!

I finally got around to viewing Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck. At best, it's a work of new maturity and restraint for Fincher; in fact, for all the movie's melodrama, it has a Xanaxed feel to it. Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay adapted from her novel. I think there's a cautionary message herein though I'm not 100% certain what I'm being advised to exercise caution toward. The media? Marriage? Ben Affleck flicks?

Vague, meandering and full of exasperating plot holes, I found Gone Girl wearisome at a 2-and-a-1/2-hour running time. The plot involves the disappearance of a woman whose husband becomes the media focus as a suspect for murder. And then a ludicrous plot twist is introduced, after which Gone Girl is a goner for sure.

The performances are generally good. Like George Clooney, Ben Affleck is the kind of cinema eye candy I don't feel guilty about because I can honestly say it was his acting that held my interest. (Something I couldn't say with a straight face about Dwayne Johnson, for instance.) As Detective Rhonda Boney (I swear to God that's the character's name), Kim Dickens gives a stand-out performance as does Margo Dunne. Rosamund Pike, in a key role in this film, is a weak link, however, turning in more of a posturing display than an acting job. This was one girl I wish was gone before the movie was over.

The ubiquitous Neil Patrick Harris is in this! So is Tyler Perry! And Sela Ward! Filmed by Jeff Cronenweth to look dim, dismal and underdeveloped, perhaps to mirror the storyline. This is cinematography that begs us to take the story seriously. Doesn't work. A tempest in a teapot, it wasn't long before I gave up hope on Gone Girl, and cried out, "You go, girl!" But not in the way I usually mean that.

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