Directed by David Fincher.
Here’s a film with every single aspect going right for it. Celebrated director (Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network), a stellar cast including Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry.
Add a bestselling novel adaptation, and a soundtrack from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ( Oscar in 2010 for The Social Network), and you have the makings of one of 2014’s best films.
Does it deliver? In SPADES.
Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne. He returns home one morning to discover the front door of his house, in a sleep Missouri town, open and his wife Amy Dunne (Pike) missing.
There are signs of a disturbance and foul play is suspected.
What’s incredible about this film is how it takes simple elements and weaves them together in a (for the most part) entirely believable way. Twisting and turning, so you’re never sure who is the character we should be paying the most attention to.
And being a David Fincher film, paying attention as an audience is the difference between a good movie and a great movie.
This film holds your attention for every single second.
It’s haunting, dark, creepy, brooding, and very very powerful.
Ultimately a film about the dynamics in a marriage and who wants what from whom, it’s also about class and family.
Amy has grown up in the shadow of a children’s book character created by her mother Marybeth (Lisa Banes) – “Amazing Amy”, and there is an underlying, unresolved tension between not just Amy and her folks, but also between them and Nick who holds may’s Mum & Dad accountable for the flaws in Amy’s character.
And these flaws, as they are revealed during the film, are not just bad habits, but traits that border on the sociopathic.
Nick himself is not without his issues, and secrets, and it’s left to a handful of people in his orbit – his twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon), attorney Tanner Bolt (played by Perry) and Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) to discover which parts of Nick are fact and which parts are fiction.
A tricky challenge when it comes to uncovering the truth about Nick, and Amy, as they both have backgrounds as writers, and have a knack for “improvising”.
The film also touched on America’s fascination with fame and infamy, it’s population’s tendency to air their dirty laundry in public, trial by media, and even the selfie rates a scene to great effect.
This is a film to see more than once -I’m not sure if it is a date night film….
And if your partner tells you that they are “dying for you to see this”.. then be very, very careful…
4 & 1/2 stars.