This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brodie Duncan’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Having read the book, I knew what was coming but I was just as surprised as the rest of the audience when the film played out. It was almost as if my mind had completely blanked its memory of the book and its content until I reached that part in the film where the memory of that section was restored. This led to a weird experience of me in the cinema because I felt like I was experiencing the film blind but, I also had such a great knowledge of the source material at the same time.
This also meant that my expectations going into this was extremely high because I loved the book so much; afterwards to say that the film exceeded my expectations is a gross understatement (a cliché if I ever saw one), the film annihilated them blowing them to smithereens. This film was everything I expected it to be and more (another cliché, I know).
In terms of performances, Rosamund Pike kills it. She knocks it right of the park. She captures exactly who Amy is and she plays on so many levels that I was floored by how much she nailed the character. In my mind, the Oscar is hers (even though it will probably go to Amy Adams as a “congratulations on getting so many nominations so, we’ll just give you one now” prize).
Something that really surprised was how good Ben Affleck was, he was a revelation on the screen. He plays the “clueless” husband who might not be so innocent so well but, I never felt that he was Oscar-worthy so his best shot is that he gets caught up in all the hype and gets an nom just for being there. I could say the exact same for the supporting cast as a whole; none of them were standout but I still feel that they could get noms just for being there which I'm totally fine with.
Whilst this is easily my favourite film of 2014 (where it will probably remain until Interstellar comes out), I don’t have too high hopes for this film come Oscar season. Whilst I would bet my life - metaphorically speaking - on this receiving nominations for Picture, Director, Actress (Pike) and Adapted Screenplay, alongside the potential for Editing, Score, Actor (Affleck) and Supporting Actress (Coon). I wouldn’t bet on this winning anything other than Screenplay (at a stretch) because it doesn’t seem like the Academy’s type of film, it doesn’t feel dramatic enough overall.
In particular, the scene near the end when Amy is in the hospital, after returning from her “kidnapping”, and being questioned by the FBI and the police about what happened on the day of her disappearance; the scene just felt far too comedic and not serious enough for the Academy’s liking.
Then again, I could be completely wrong and it could be right up the Academy’s alleyway.
END SPOILER ALERT
Something that really frustrated me was unfortunately the ending. The ending to Gone Girl ties the film in a nice wee bow and I did feel satisfied with the film’s ending. But, even though I did, at one point, call Gone Girl (the book) “the best book with the worst ending”, I wanted to see the book’s ending in the film because (in my opinion) one of the major differences between the novel and its cinematic adaptation was the overall tone; the book played a bit more like a crime thriller and the film kept many of the book’s motifs but it had a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humour.
While I do like the film’s ending, it did make me appreciate the book’s ending even more even though it isn’t the ending I felt the book was building towards. And interestingly, I felt the film was actually building towards the book’s ending right at the end which is why I was probably so annoyed that Fincher and co. didn’t give me what I wanted. The original ending matched the tone of the film completely.
Or Fincher could just be fucking with me. And I'm totally fine with that.