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Fincher's dark and sleek direction meshes wish a deliciously twisted story complimented by strong performances in Gone Girl. This film has a lot that can be spoiled and I will not give any away, which makes this a little harder to write. The way that the film unfolds and unravels is a hell of a thing to witness; It could hardly be more thrilling. What I enjoyed about the story is that it doesn't pile on everything until the end, which keeps the film suspenseful and consistently rewarding. It's like a bag of presents are being handed to you slowly, one by one, throughout the entire film. Some of the turns the movie takes are jaw dropping. All of this is held together through Fincher's stylish atmosphere. The tinted images make it feel like nothing is ever quite right, nothing resolved. He always seems to make the perfect decisions with the camera, as does the editor, and the cinematography feels meticulously constructed. Also carrying the film are some strong performances, the standout being Rosamund Pike. Everything from her voice to her appearance is hard to look away from. Going further in depth could lead to spoilers, but she's great and will be getting nominated for an Oscar. Ben Affleck and others in the supporting cast are all excellent as well, such as Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Kim Dickens. As a commentary on marriage, it's a bit extreme to be as relevant as it wants to be. I think a lot of people might come away more with how sick and twisted it is. But boy does it get dirty, and that actually makes it really fun. It's always clever and smart with how it goes about getting so insane. My biggest gripe with the film was that some of the character's actions and motivations towards the end didn't feel motivated enough, and I wondered why the characters did what they did. I felt like this exposed a slight lack of character depth. Overall though, Gone Girl is a fun, smart, twisted ride that's sure to be up for a number of awards nominations, and deserves it. Not a whole lot of movies grab you the ways that this one does.
Walking out of Men, Women, and Children I had concluded that I enjoyed what I saw. It was well acted and pieced together story wise, and had a good balance of drama and comedy. As far as the surface goes, everything feels in place. It's when you try to connect the stories and dig deeper, when you realize just how incredibly unrelated and convoluted the film is thematically. Like I said, the acting is very strong from the entire ensemble in the film. I could go on saying, "Oh, Jennifer Garner was great. Oh, Dean Norris was really good, too," but I would just end up listing the entire cast. There are a dozen good performances and they really do help the story because each character feels well-rounded and unique to the story. Reitman is always good at balancing comedy and drama, and his sense for how the stories should switch back and forth while keep tension high and building the drama is definitely on display here. The dialogue is good for the most part, and the comedy usually hits the target. The drama is mostly authentic, though occasionally odd or unrealistic. The elements of this film that work towards being an entertaining and absorbing movie are all there. The film needs to have more, and I think it tries but I can't be sure. There are three stories here, which sometimes split into more, or combine with each other, but I'd say three main stories that all revolve around modern technology, but none of them have anything to say about technology. None of make statements. The Adam Sandler storyline I really cannot pull a single thing from in terms of a message or a point. The characters don't really even fall apart, no one learns anything, so it's really just a thing that happened, and I can't find a single link to it saying anything about technology, even though it is used. (By the way, no one closes the door when they masterbate in this movie and that was just off.) There is the story with the preppy model girl and her mother who post pictures modeling photos online. The conclusion is that it wasn't good and that's really all. The side stories within this one include her friend, an anorexic girl who has sex with an older kid, and a boy the girl wants to fuck who can't get a boner without porn. None of this is really relevant to much in the story at all. Again, there are uses of technology but they don't seem responsible for much, and the we don't know what it's saying about the characters either. The last story, and possibly the best is with Ansel Elgort, who chooses video games over football, and his new girlfriend, who's mother is a protective tracking freak. Once again, technology is used, but we don't know what the movie wants to say about it or how it relates to the other uses of technology. And again, we don't know what it says about the characters either. The film tries to tie all of these stories together with an ambitious existential idea that we are so tiny and insignificant, and how blah blah does this really explain anything in the movie? Only one character even remotely deals with facing his insignificance and he doesn't seem to have concluded this anxiety either. The pieces of this puzzle are nice to look at, but not a single piece fits into another. Some have round edges, some have jagged edges, and some even have both. The box that you use to find out where the pieces go and what sections they fit into looks totally different from the pieces themselves. It looks kind of like a computer, kind of like a little blue dot, and kind of like the human condition. but you wonder if some of the pieces are supposed to be in this puzzle. None of them really resemble any spots on the box. But looking at them makes you forget for the time being that you're even supposed to solve it, and so you can enjoy it for a while until you start to put it together. And you just can't get a single piece to fit together.