David Fincher’s Gone Girl operates on a premises Americans see far too often through our media based news. Broadcasts show a pretty, young woman who disappears under suspicious circumstances and the whole country goes to pieces searching and mourning for her. The explanation for her disappearance, more often than not, is her significant other disposing of her in some cruel, depraved act of violence. The media has a field day with each new case of our sweet, lost girls and the viewers find it all the more sensational. But I promise, what you witness in Gone Girl is more intense, provocative and twisted than what you will see on the news.
Our missing girl is Amy Dunn (Rosemund Pike), a blonde beauty who enjoys leading her husband on treasure hunts on their anniversary. Her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), seems a bit clueless and emotionally detached lately. He is annoyed about figuring out Amy’s clues for this year’s treasure hunt, vents about his latest marriage woes to his twin sister at the bar they own. When he returns home, he finds a strange scene and can’t find Amy anywhere.
He calls the police and things get exponentially complicated. Volunteer search committees are formed, candlelight vigils are held, both Amy and Nick’s face are stamped on every news break. The longer Amy is missing, the worse it looks for Nick, who claims he had nothing to do with her disappearance. Soon he is seeking the help of an attorney (played by Tyler Perry) who seems to specialize helping the husbands of missing women that the media has taken to destroying.
There are amazing flashbacks and clues, like ex boyfriends and a diary Amy wrote, that draw us deeper and deeper. But I cannot bear to say anymore of the plot. This film is such an enjoyable thriller and a mystery that hinges on a few amazing twists. It was done so well that I believed this film would earn Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay. Sadly, it was snubbed. And for those who have read the book, I have heard from many sources that the film is much more enjoyable.
The acting throughout this film is superb. Pike makes Amy such an amazing woman, we are spellbound by her, the mystery behind her and we can see how Nick could so easily have fallen in love. Her nomination for best actress is well deserved. Neil Patrick Harris becomes a scene-stealer in his minor role that leads up to a moment in film that is impossible to erase from my mind. And while Ben Affleck is far from one of my favorite actors, I did enjoy his performance as well. Maybe I just like how his character is cornered and squirming the whole time.
In October, I predicted that Gone Girl would be hailed as one of the best films of the year. I went to see it on a Wednesday night, and the theater was nearly sold out. The audience got very into the film, gasping, jumping and grimacing at all the right moments. I walked out of the theater counting on my fingers the Oscar nominations I guessed were coming the film’s way: director, adapted screenplay, actress, and picture felt like sure bets. Boy, was I wrong and disappointed. Pike’s acting was the only thing to receive any recognition by the Academy.
“Nick Dunne. You’re probably the most hated man in America right now. Did you kill your wife, Nick?”