Mobi’s Moscars (part 2)
Yes folks, I started my annual ritual last week under the heading ‘The Oscars are a-coming’, and continue this week with my second film revue of the awards season.
You may recall that in last week’s blog, I stuck my neck out and in spite of an avalanche of superlative reviews, I declared that I wasn’t a huge fan of the much acclaimed Boyhood.
By way of a contrast, I have to say that my second review – Gone Girl – is a great deal more to my liking, and I think (hope) it will do well in the awards season.
David Fincher, the director who brought us Fight Club, Seven, Benjamin Button and Social network has delivered another corker. .
This time it is a very long, noir-ish thriller but I promise you, that unlike Boyhood, it will hold your attention for its entire 149 minutes of running time. Gone Girl will leave you in the sure knowledge you had just spent two and a half, very enjoyable hours and thirsting for more.
I hate to admit it, (for reasons I will not go into here), but just about every film that Ben Affleck has starred in is a winner in my book. This stylish actor always acts his heart out, without ever going over the top. His quiet, understated performances beat histrionics hands down, and in Gone Girl, playing Nick, the ‘wronged’ husband, Affleck has done it again.
Rosamund Pike, (yet another Brit playing an American character), who I do not recall having seen before, plays Amy, Nick’s wife who suddenly and inexplicably disappears from home on the fifth anniversary of her marriage.
For a very short while, you think this is going to be a formulaic ‘husband does away with wife’ flick, but it isn’t long before you realise that you are watching something far superior that develops into a cracking, original thriller.
Nick is suspected of murdering his wife, but I will not say too much more about the plot for fear of spoiling it for you.
The film is about a complex marriage in which one or possibly both partners have sociopathic tendencies. It is a dark thriller, with unexpected twists and turns which will keep you enthralled and glued to your seats.
I particularly enjoyed the role of the media in this movie, which turned the news of the wife’s disappearance into a media circus. We were treated to the very epitome of a typical Fox News item; a brassy ,female presenter has already decided that the husband is a murderer. Together with her fawning ‘expert legal contributors’, she becomes judge and jury and turns Nick into public enemy No.1, before anyone even knows for sure if the wife is dead.
The film switches between two time periods: the present day, as the police search for the wife and Nick becomes the prime suspect; and five years earlier, when the couple first meet and we learn, by courtesy of Amy’s diary, how their marriage slowly starts to fall apart.
The music is excellent, as is the cinematography, and the acting by a talented, supporting cast is without fault. Indeed, there are no weak links in Gone Girl – either in the production or the plot – and we are swept along in a roller coaster of surprises right up to the final curtain. Even as the story concludes, there is a final, wry twist or two to provoke us as we watch the final credits.
Definitely a runner for best movie, as are Aflek and Pike for best actor and actress.