I watched David Fincher’s adaptation of bestselling novel Gone Girl with my sister last weekend. It’s very close to the book, probably because author, Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay. Some argue that it’s even better than the source material. I agree. But then I usually prefer film adaptations because they’re more concise. Click here for my spoilerific review of the book.
In a nutshell, it’s about small town bar owner, Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck) who’s accused of murder when his wife, Amy goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. As the case becomes the center of an intense media circus, Nick’s lack of candor makes him the prime suspect.
Amy is deliciously, unapologetically evil. By the second act, the curtain is pulled back on the seemingly innocent housewife to reveal a vengeful psychopath. She is always one step ahead of her husband, who she frames for her murder. Rosamund Pike’s performance as Amy is stellar, and there are already whispers of an Oscar nomination.
Affleck is exactly how I pictured Nick. The casting is so obvious I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. That smirk in front of Amy’s missing poster. His run from photographers. His head ducked down in a baseball cap at the airport. And ahem, his relationship with real life wife, Jennifer Garner doesn’t hurt either.
Neil Patrick Harris was surprisingly creepy as Amy’s former flame Desi. But my favorite character is and always has been Margo (played by The Leftovers’ Carrie Coon), Nick’s smart mouth twin. That part when she flips off the cameras in front of her house? Nice.
I was worried that Gone Girl would be adapted into a hokey Whodunnit? on the big screen, but Fincher keeps it kitsch free. There’s a lot of moody lighting we’ve grown used to in his previous movies. He also reunited with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) on the score. My favorite bit was that scene between Amy and Desi. Gave me chills.
It seemed like they touched on Nick’s relationship with his father, but didn’t really follow through. Maybe I’m just being pedantic because I had the novel in my head. I won’t give away the ending, but despite earlier reports, Gillian Flynn kept it true to the book with a few tweaks.
If you haven’t already seen the movie, please do it. I recommend the book, but Flynn’s Dark Places is my favorite.
Image credit: Entertainment Weekly