David Fincher’s 'Gone Girl' was premiered at the New York Film Festival on Friday, with the cast and director in attendance to take questions about the eagerly-awaited adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel.
The movie, a brutally dark thriller, is a microscopic inspection of a marriage between two New York writers who move to Missouri, their union blown apart when the wife, played by Rosamund Pike, disappears leaving her husband as the prime suspect in her likely murder.
Alongside Pike, the film stars Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, with each delivering career-defining performances, guided by the delicate hand of Fincher who produces a film every bit as entertaining as 'The Social Network' and every bit as disturbing as 'Seven'.
Here are five things to know about Gone Girl, which opens in the UK this Friday...
1, Pike said that actors are “pre-Fincher and post-Fincher in their work”. If that’s true, the 35-year-old is about to embark on a hugely impressive career, with the Englishwoman the standout turn in a film replete with spectacular performances. Not to spoil the plot but Pike, who plays Affleck’s wife, delivers such a layered portrayal of “unhinged” that you wonder why she’s been toiling in second-rate fare for the entirety of her career. An Oscar nomination is almost guaranteed for the Hammersmith-born actress.
2, Do not take your elderly aunt Mable to watch this film. There are strong scenes throughout, not least between Pike and Patrick Harris, which is as graphic as it is disturbing. There’s no head in a box, thankfully, but it’s not far off. Yet the real horror comes from the dour, suburban setting in which the madness plays out, with Affleck’s Nick Dunne desperate to defend himself from the police, the neighbourhood and the media, all of whom think he is responsible for his wife’s grisly death.
3, There are three directors in this film, with Affleck and Perry both highly successful auteurs in their own right. It is a testament to Fincher that the pair said they signed on to the movie to learn from a “true master of the craft”. Yet 'Gone Girl' isn’t just a directing class, with both actors putting in a shift. Affleck is particularly effective as the hapless husband, albeit one who appears to change shape during the course of the movie, the actor seemingly beefing up ahead of playing Bruce Wayne in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'.
4, Fincher has found a real collaborator in Trent Reznor, the former Nine Inch Nails front man, who scored 'The Social Network', and now this. Similar to the Facebook story, the music is central to the movie, adding an extra layer of menace to the on-screen nightmare as Fincher skillfully examines the notion of who people really are versus the characters they create. The film is utterly chilling, yet the players are pushed to such cruel and bitter extremes that it’s also savagely funny.
5, “The media” is brilliantly dissected throughout the film, with Fincher passing comment on what he called “tragedy vampirism” – the camera-on-the-lawn types attracted by death or in this case a disappearance. There’s even a wickedly funny parody of the TV confessional, in which Affleck is forced to go on TV to explain that he had nothing to do with killing his wife, while the scene in which a neighbourhood woman connives to get a selfie with the distraught husband is pitch perfect.
'Gone Girl' is in UK cinemas from this Friday 2 October. Watch the trailer below...