GONE GIRL – It’s All In the Execution

October 5, 2014 — 2 Comments

NICK DUNNE (Ben Affleck) speaks at a vigil for his missing wife, AMY (Rosamund Pike) as her parents look on. From GONE GIRL (20th Century Fox) directed by David Fincher. In theaters now.

**Spoiler Free** (Unless you have a really broad definition of “spoiler”.)

GONE GIRL is the best Lifetime TV movie I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen enough Lifetime TV movies to say whether or not it’s the best ever made. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I did. I enjoyed it the same way I enjoy a Wendy’s Double with Cheese after having not eaten fast food for a couple of months. It starts out all OMG and then an hour after I’m done it’s all SMH.

This material in the hands of a lesser director and/or mediocre actors would have revealed the story for exactly what it is: the plot of a movie you’d generally expect to see after 11PM on Cinemax. Not that I know a whole lot about those either. I’m told that the movie is a faithful adaptation of the book, so there’s that.

Here’s the real take-away for me after seeing a movie like GONE GIRL: Often the execution of an idea is more important than the idea itself. Execution can downgrade a great idea into an okay movie or elevate a ridiculous idea into an entertaining movie. What saves GONE GIRL from being a laughable exploitation movie is not the premise but the execution.

Nobody executes a cinematic idea better than David Fincher. SE7EN, ZODIAC and THE SOCIAL NETWORK are three films that I both deeply respect and am still greatly entertained (and somewhat disturbed) by. THE GAME is another expertly made, fun ride. I’m not a fan of FIGHT CLUB. Fincher’s version of DRAGON TATOO left me cold shortly after the mesmerizing main title sequence. But even in the work he does that I don’t care for I can’t help but see the care Fincher puts on the canvas. My opinions will never have any bearing on what David Fincher does – and I’d never want them to. The man makes the movies he wants to make and he pretty much gets to make them the way he wants them made. More power to him. He’s truly a remarkable director with a singular voice.

Everyone in the GONE GIRL cast is doing what they’re expected to do and more. There’s not a weak performance in the bunch but MARGO (played by Carrie Coon), the suspected wife-killer’s twin sister, is the only character I believed was flesh and blood. It was good to see Tyler Perry play in someone else’s sandbox and deliver a winning performance. I’d probably watch a TV series built around DETECTIVE BONEY (played winningly by Kim Dickens). And taking shots at Nancy-Grace-like-characters never gets old, does it?

GONE GIRL had a solid opening weekend in a year that’s been down overall at the Box Office. I saw it the way I prefer to see movies – with my wife in a theater full of people who seem to like movies. I’m glad this one got made. But, come on — there was no way a movie based on this book wasn’t going to be made. So I’m really glad such a talented cast and crew made it.


2 responses to GONE GIRL – It’s All In the Execution


    Good review Tim. Definitely not Fincher’s best, but still a joy to watch. Something I haven’t felt with a Fincher movie in quite some time.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Gone Girl | Captions - October 21, 2014

    […] thing that sets this apart from the cable network’s usual fare is the execution. You can read his entire post here. Like just about everything on his blog, it’s definitely worth your […]


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