GONE GIRL (2014)

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Ben Affleck (Nick Dunne) continues to prove that he can act and is capable of layering a character. He’s already proven himself adept at directing three very intelligent films to date (Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the Oscar winning Argo). Here, he has the challenge of creating a character that is flawed and three-dimensional and does a great job.

David Fincher directs this intelligent thriller based upon Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel about a woman who goes missing and the husband who is left behind. To say anymore would be to do the viewer a great injustice. No spoilers here.

Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne cements her status as legitimate leading lady, although how much depth she has an actor… She delivers a decent enough performance but we are not always allowed in and this may be a problem in future work.

Carrie Coon is great as Nick’s twin sister, Margo, and arrives on the scene after showing her chops in the recent HBO series, The Leftovers. Kim Dickens plays the right side of world-weary as the detective assigned to the missing persons case, Detective Rhonda Boney. She is always brilliant; fantastic in Deadwood and a joy in Treme and Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) plays her sidekick, Officer Jim Gilpin well.
Tyler Perry announces his intention of being treated as a serious actor playing the celebrity lawyer, Tanner Bolt and is present enough for you to buy his work.

Avoiding all reviews or write-ups about this film before I’d seen it as I wanted to approach it with no knowledge in order to experience it free of any pre-conceptions. Surely, the best way to see any film, right? Apart from the more extreme side of cinema, where a warning sticker would separate the weak of heart from the crazy, bungee-diving audiences.
But, I digress, the pedigree is present, so let’s see.

Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Atticus Ross create an amazing soundscape that never infringes upon the piece nor allows you to feel settled.

This is the third time they have scored a Fincher film, taking home an Oscar for Best Soundtrack for The Social Network and also, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Their soundtracks have been have been pigeon-holed into such genres as Dark Ambient, Post-industrial experimental and electronica for the ad-men but it is not so easy to categorise. The use of ambient electronic  sounds to create a Lynch-like unsettledness adds to the film perfectly.

Fincher is a master of brilliantly creating a world where the audience is left guessing until he feels it time to reveal and he does just that here.

A brilliant thriller that may just make some waves at the Oscars next year.

4/5

What did you think?
Please feel free to leave a comment if you agree or not with my thoughts.
All discussions welcome. (Excepting trolls, who are not welcome :O)).

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20 FEET FROM STARDOM (2013)

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This won the Oscar for best doc in 2014, it was up against The Act of Killing (the rightful winner), Cutie and the Boxer (not seen yet), The Square (not seen) and Dirty Wars, and is probably the biggest crowd pleaser amongst them, though not the best of them.

Focusing on the backing singers and the wealth of talent that lays there; what it takes to break away from the sidelines and hit the big time and how it may just be in the alignment of the stars along with the personal journey of each individual.

This is an entertaining documentary that raises itself slightly above a VH1 doc by having some very different, incredibly talented women who, by all intents and purposes, should have been massive stars.

It features amongst many others, Darlene Love and her working relationship with Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound, Merry Clayton with her famous duet with Mick Jagger on Gimme Shelter, the incredible Lisa Fischer and Tata Vega. But it gets diluted the more subjects that are featured and therein lies the problem.

This is one for the music lovers and is pedestrian at best; entertaining but not as incisive or in depth as it could have been.

3/5

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