Gone Girl

Gone Girl ★★★★½

I'm hesitant to call it a masterpiece without another viewing, but it was very entertaining. I think Fincher finally made a film that has a true sense of humor coursing through it. It's much more intellectual than laugh out loud funny, but it feels tangible. I'm not used to his films having that: it's a nice thing to see in the mix along with his trademark technique. Of course, even his humor has a dark heart, but it wouldn't be Fincher otherwise.

Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher seems less interested in the central mystery and more keyed in to the side effects of it. Themes of celebrity, media, and public perceptions are the true story. Because of that, I think Ben Affleck is perfectly cast. The actor is on display here almost as much as his character: his private life, his public life, his acting. How do they all relate to us as we're watching? A great deal, it turns out. As he's matured, Affleck's acting has improved. However, I think his natural film presence comes inherent with a sense that he's holding something back -- not giving us quite everything -- or keeping his full or real emotions in check. Whether you have seen the film or not, you can see how that plays to the film's strengths. The few times he does get emotional in Gone Girl hold some real weight. But is it real? Smart. Also kind of funny.

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