Gone Girl 2014 ***

Gillian Flynn adapted her own novel for David Fincher, carrying forward the clever twist structure but also the wealth of detailed character information involved. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, the husband whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing; finding himself subject to trial by media, he sets out to find who is responsible. The half-way shift from Fatal Attraction-style thriller to a more provocative look at the war between men and women has made Gone Girl a popular cult novel, and Fincher stays admirably true to the text and subtext, with sterling support from Carrie Coon as Nick’s sister Margo and Kim Dickens as the cop in search of the truth. Neil Patrick Harris also steals some scenes as Amy’s ex Desi, but nothing takes away from Affleck and Pike’s leads in this meticulous adult drama. The notion of the ‘better self’, the version of oneself created in a relationship, is interestingly explored here within the guise of a conventional thriller, and Fincher’s gift for technical detail is always welcome.


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