Gone Girl reviews

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:51 am

dws1982 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:SPOILERS
1. Wasn't the Rosamund Pike character a bit too lucky? Nobody saw her going out of the house alone in her car (aren't there people in that town?)

I agree with you in general about her character being a bit too lucky. If I remember correctly, the book explained this by saying that their neighborhood was on the outskirts of town, and that most of the houses in it were empty because of foreclosures; don't recall the movie going into this, however. (Although I do recall a few shots early in the film of some lawns with uncut grass, etc.)



Oh ok. No, in the movie she's really just VERY lucky - and it's not like her plan was an easy, uncomplicated one...

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 2978
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby dws1982 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:51 am

ITALIANO wrote:SPOILERS
1. Wasn't the Rosamund Pike character a bit too lucky? Nobody saw her going out of the house alone in her car (aren't there people in that town?)

I agree with you in general about her character being a bit too lucky. If I remember correctly, the book explained this by saying that their neighborhood was on the outskirts of town, and that most of the houses in it were empty because of foreclosures; don't recall the movie going into this, however. (Although I do recall a few shots early in the film of some lawns with uncut grass, etc.)

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:20 pm

Big Magilla wrote:As P.T. Barnum said two centuries ago, "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."



:)

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15660
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:33 pm

As P.T. Barnum said two centuries ago, "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:07 am

Big Magilla wrote:You're over-intellectualizing a stupid movie.


No, I am actually considering its basic, popular appeal.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15660
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:57 am

You're over-intellectualizing a stupid movie.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:43 am

Johnny Guitar wrote:Alain Corneau's Crime d'amour


Haven't seen it, but now I will try to find it.

Still, farce or not, a movie like Gone Girl says alot about America, this is a fact. And from my personal point of view, what I find extremely interesting in the narrative - and of course you could say that that's part of its "satire" side, but it's still there - is that

SPOILER

the Rosamund Pike character starts acting that way, and planning her devilish revenge plot, after she catches her husband cheating (actually not really - she just sees him meeting another, younger woman in a public place). And she suddenly becomes crazy because of this. Now, honestly, I know that Big Magilla will say that I am a sinner, Oscar Guy will say that I am immoral, etc, but... I mean... come on... Ok, cheating on someone isn't pleasant, I know - but in Europe it happens every day... I can't believe that in America it can be still considered such a taboo, such a shocking, unexpected event, an event which can lead - in a movie, I know - to absurdly extreme consequences... and the female character gets the audience's sympathy (at least till she gruesomely kills another man - BEFORE that, they like her)! In 2015, this puritanical aspect - and I repeat, it may be farcical, though I doubt, but certainly most in the audience don't take it that way - sounds more hypocritical, but also more "naive", than ever.

User avatar
Johnny Guitar
Assistant
Posts: 509
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 5:14 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Johnny Guitar » Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:26 am

Sonic Youth wrote:
Johnny Guitar wrote:I'd say the film is definitely a satire and a very dark, dry comedy.


'Farce' is the word I'd use.

Hope you're doing well, Zach.


I'm doing well, thanks! Happy to poke my nose in here again.

I guess I can see Gone Girl as a farce, too, but I think the element of social criticism about whitebread, mainstream masculinity/feminity is central to what the film, and maybe the book as well, is attempting. It's all about how "things will look." The movie traffics in the playful threat of any departure from suburban norms & mores as a potential circumstantial evidence against one's well-being -- both for Affleck as a henpecked husband, and Pike as the woman driven mad much earlier in life.

Again, you can argue that whatever it aims for, it's a failure. Certainly, intelligent people have drawn different conclusions from it. A lot of people say the film is clearly misogynist, but others think it's a feminist joke of some kind.

ITALIANO wrote:First of all, welcome back!

If it's a satire, an intentional one I mean, it's certainly more interesting, I can't deny that. But too many reviewers - even in this thread - take it literally, as a first-rate thriller (just think of all the discussions on the supposedly "big" twist! - even after watching it I didn't realize there had been a twist), and I think the movie wants this, too - let's face it, it is commercially successful because of this, not because of its satirical aspect. So yes, MY point of view is - if it's a satire (and I think you may be right) it's too safe, too cautious, which still makes the movie definitely more intelligent than I thought at first, but not courageous enough. In a way, I consider operations of this kind as compromises between the rules of commercial Hollywood filmmaking and the individual talent of a filmmaker who, while following them and becoming very rich, also "plays footsie" with the most demanding critics. But I admit that mine is a very European point of view, and it's possible that, in the context of American cinema, such attitude is a reasonably brave one.


Could be. I think it's an interesting thing about David Fincher, too ... it can be difficult to know how much distance he really wants to take from his subject matter. Unlike some potentially "subversive" commercial filmmakers, he doesn't necessarily create a great deal of tension, in his style, with the material. So when he adapts potboiler literature or popular stories, like Gone Girl or The Social Network, it sometimes just plays as a flat adaptation shot with impeccable lighting. (The uncertainty is compounded when you consider that the Gone Girl novel is supposed to have this same ambiguity about how much it's pulp and how much it's social criticism.)

The American/European distinction may be important in reading tone, too. To me, and I think a lot of Americans, Affleck & Pike and all the characters exist as people in quotation marks. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it feels more like a sustained satirical distance than a 100% earnest portrait of suburban people. It may also be true that people pick up on that, but don't think it's the most interesting aspect of the film, and then instead discuss the "twists."

An example from Europe that does something somewhat similar to Gone Girl, I will throw out a guess, is Alain Corneau's Crime d'amour: dark, cold, dry, both a film that we can enjoy for its suspense and twists, but also something that says something about its society and values. Although ... I would say that Gone Girl is a little crazier (which is why Sonic Youth has suggested that it's a farce), and that Crime d'amour is a much better film.

Cheers!

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:14 am

Johnny Guitar wrote:SPOILERS!!!

ITALIANO wrote:5. Americans would do anything for a child. As soon as the Ben Affleck character knows that he will become a father, suddenly he decides to stay with his monster-wife, despite everything that she has done to him and to others.


I don't have good answers or refutations of your other questions - but on this matter, I think the point was less that Affleck was "won over" by the prospect of fatherhood, and more that he felt defeated, that his life really would be made a living hell if his pregnant wife were to accuse of him of desertion. So the ending is downbeat, murky, resigned, a bit of gallows humor ... but it's also possible I've forgotten details since I saw Gone Girl months ago.

I'd say the film is definitely a satire and a very dark, dry comedy. (The critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky called it a Verhoeven movie not directed by Verhoeven.) That said, it's so dry and its satire is so close to the chest that--as with some Hollywood Verhoevens, especially Starship Troopers--some of the key demographics take the film at face value. If you like the movie, you can say it's very clever or even profound as a way of walking a thin line. If you don't like the movie, you can say that the satire was too safe, not caustic enough to be successful. C'est la vie.

(For the record, I don't even really like the movie. I'm not defending it. I think it's ... OK, I suppose.)



First of all, welcome back!

If it's a satire, an intentional one I mean, it's certainly more interesting, I can't deny that. But too many reviewers - even in this thread - take it literally, as a first-rate thriller (just think of all the discussions on the supposedly "big" twist! - even after watching it I didn't realize there had been a twist), and I think the movie wants this, too - let's face it, it is commercially successful because of this, not because of its satirical aspect. So yes, MY point of view is - if it's a satire (and I think you may be right) it's too safe, too cautious, which still makes the movie definitely more intelligent than I thought at first, but not courageous enough. In a way, I consider operations of this kind as compromises between the rules of commercial Hollywood filmmaking and the individual talent of a filmmaker who, while following them and becoming very rich, also "plays footsie" with the most demanding critics. But I admit that mine is a very European point of view, and it's possible that, in the context of American cinema, such attitude is a reasonably brave one.

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7436
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:08 pm

Johnny Guitar wrote:I'd say the film is definitely a satire and a very dark, dry comedy.


'Farce' is the word I'd use.

Hope you're doing well, Zach.
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

User avatar
Johnny Guitar
Assistant
Posts: 509
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 5:14 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Johnny Guitar » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:34 pm

SPOILERS!!!

ITALIANO wrote:5. Americans would do anything for a child. As soon as the Ben Affleck character knows that he will become a father, suddenly he decides to stay with his monster-wife, despite everything that she has done to him and to others.


I don't have good answers or refutations of your other questions - but on this matter, I think the point was less that Affleck was "won over" by the prospect of fatherhood, and more that he felt defeated, that his life really would be made a living hell if his pregnant wife were to accuse of him of desertion. So the ending is downbeat, murky, resigned, a bit of gallows humor ... but it's also possible I've forgotten details since I saw Gone Girl months ago.

I'd say the film is definitely a satire and a very dark, dry comedy. (The critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky called it a Verhoeven movie not directed by Verhoeven.) That said, it's so dry and its satire is so close to the chest that--as with some Hollywood Verhoevens, especially Starship Troopers--some of the key demographics take the film at face value. If you like the movie, you can say it's very clever or even profound as a way of walking a thin line. If you don't like the movie, you can say that the satire was too safe, not caustic enough to be successful. C'est la vie.

(For the record, I don't even really like the movie. I'm not defending it. I think it's ... OK, I suppose.)

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:47 am

The Original BJ wrote: Once the movie’s violent murder occurs, I lost any sympathy I had for Pike -- suddenly she just seemed like a crazy bitch


:D

Well, I mean, how shall I put it... It's not like even BEFORE that (it happens after about 2 hours in the movie) she's exactly the most balanced and endearing human being I've ever met - but I realize that I'm too European...

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3956
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:07 pm

I must have seen another movie... I mean - most comments on this board treat Gone Girl as if it was a solemn, praise-worthy effort, rather than the (enjoyable, maybe, but definitely grotesque) trash-fest I just saw. I realize that I am in the minority, so this must be a minor masterpiece which I didnt get, but really, I didn't find it much more relevant than, say, Disclosure or Indecent Proposal (except that, of course, Demi Moore in those movies was MUCH better than Rosamund Pike in this one - at least she seemed to really believe what she was doing. As for Ben Affleck - he's not less inexpressive than usual, so I don't know how his can be considered a major performance, but ok...).
It's possible that it's just a spoof, a parody - David Fincher as Mel Brooks. And, of course, there ARE moments when this is evident, and somehow reassuring (people in the cinema were taking it very seriously though). Not an especially sophisticated spoof, but at least intentionally satyrical. That wouldn't still make it a good movie - it's just too long, too chaotic - but would make me forgive its excesses, its absurdities. Yet, even spoofs must follow some rules, and here are just a few points that those who loved this movie so much in this thread should, please, explain to me.

SPOILERS

1. Wasn't the Rosamund Pike character a bit too lucky? Nobody saw her going out of the house alone in her car (aren't there people in that town?), nobody recognized her afterwards (yes, I know, she had eaten a few hamburgers...), despite the fact that her face was on national tv all the time...
2. Wasn't the Rosamund Pike character SUPERlucky? The cameras in the house where she's hiding seem very selective - they only document what she wanted to be seen by the police!
3. American hospitals mustn't be very good (no wonder the US are number 38 in the World Health Report by country): they visit her, but they don't even clean the blood from her body, so she must take a shower when she comes home (hours or maybe even days after her hospitalization).
4. In America, artificial insemination is very easy, and can be done at home quickly - because when and how did the Pike character do that, after she comes back home, with all the police and reporters around her?
5. Americans would do anything for a child. As soon as the Ben Affleck character knows that he will become a father, suddenly he decides to stay with his monster-wife, despite everything that she has done to him and to others.

And I could go on, and on...

It's possible that Gone Girl HAS something to say about certain subjects... but, for me, a "good movie" is something else, sorry...

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7436
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:37 pm

Utterly ludicrous film, and it shouldn't come anywhere near a Best Picture Oscar. But because it's so self-aware of how ludicrous the story is, I thought it was great fun. Fincher figured out how to successfully put across this material, and that's to play it for lurid laughs. And this may ultimately be remembered as Ben Affleck's signature role. Not that it's a masterclass of acting - although he's quite good - but there hasn't been a role so well suited for him - his talents, his persona, his looks, his middle-aged presence and the love-hate relationship the public and the media has had with him as a prominent Hollywood star which has made him an oddly poignant figure as the years go by - until now. I suppose someone like Ewan McGregor may have given a better performance. But I can't imagine anyone else owning this role the way Affleck does.

I have so little time in my life seeing movies anymore, much less writing about them. I wish I had more time and (especially) energy to write more. But I'm always glad to come back to you guys and read your comments and opinions.
"What the hell?"

Win Butler

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4184
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Re: Gone Girl reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:04 pm

flipp525 wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:The big issue I had in the first portion of the movie was quite simply the fact that, despite not having read the novel, and not knowing a thing about its plot aside from what appeared in the trailer, I figured out the Big Twist way before that plot reveal occurred. I’m not trying to toot my own horn in terms of predictive power here -- it’s very possible that simply knowing this was a movie with SPOILER ALERT slapped over the top of every review had me cued to look out for potential twists from the get-go -- but I’m not sure that was entirely the issue.

Wait, so you actually knew that those early scenes of Nick and Amy's marriage were essentially a mixture of reality and fantasy? How much of the twist did you predict and to what extent? For example, you knew that the scene where he throws her against the stairs was entirely fictional as it was being shown to you? I'm just curious because that seems pretty super-human.



SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Hahaha, no, I didn't in any way predict that part. Just the she-faked-her-own-murder aspect. My thought during the scene where Affleck throws her down the stairs was "ah, so this horrible behavior toward her is what is going to lead her to fake her own death and frame him." The reveal that portions of the first part of the movie were fabricated was, indeed, a surprise to me.


Return to “2014”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests