With the directorial genius of David Fincher does the excellent Gone Girl feel as though that, in the span of a nearly two-and-a-half hour run time, I felt I just watched a miniseries worth of story and information. And that's a good thing. Barring whatever quality films are released the rest of this year, Gone Girl is currently my front-runner for the "Major Five" Oscar categories - Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Picture.
Following in the footsteps of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck has gone from "girls think he's cute 'whatever' actor" to become what I consider to be a "great actor and leading man." In Gone Girl, Ben Affleck gives easily his best performance to date, but one can sense that a lot of that great acting comes from the even greater direction of David Fincher.
With the movie's story in general, I do not want to say anything other than what was already seen in trailers - a man's wife goes missing, and said man is slowly becoming the suspect of her possible demise. The police have a hard time convicting him mainly because, without a body, there essentially is no crime. As the movie progresses, more and more clues begin to build against the husband, but we as the audience aren't quite sure what to trust or who to trust. That's where the fun of the movie comes into play.
Based solely on what I saw in the preview, I had three conclusions as to what happened to his wife, played by Rosemund Pike. All I can say is that I was both right and wrong on all three different accounts, which when put into context, sounds like the kind of mind fuck you'd expect by now from a Fincher-directed motion picture.
What nailed me was at a certain point in the film, I thought the story was over and that the film had ended. I thought to myself, "Wow, that was a fast two-and-a-half hours." That's when the movie becomes very Fincher-esque and begins to play like a different kind of film altogether, one in which the greatness in the performances, writing, and direction all kick into high gear.
I'm still a little confused how some critics have been calling this the date movie of the year. Gone Girl is everything BUT, playing like a movie that would make you look over your shoulder at the person you're about to go into bed with. To me this is the kind of movie with the power that could make or break a hinging relationship, making one question the other as to the motives of their purpose in the marriage.
Either way, Gone Girl was a genuine surprise, a well-shot and extremely well-written drama with all the workings of a typical David Fincher movie (very similar in feel, at times, to his The Game and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Go into the film knowing what you know from the preview (if you haven't read the novel on which it is based), and don't let anyone spoil anything for you. The movie is definitely worth the time.
My final quick thoughts:
Box-Office Potential: $150 million + more come awards season
Second Viewing Potential: On cable