The first reviews for “Gone Girl” have come in and, with one notable exception, they are raves. David Fincher‘s adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s bestseller about a husband (Ben Affleck) who finds himself the prime suspect when his wife (Rosamund Pike) goes missing is to world premiere at the New York filmfest this Friday (Sept. 26), a week before its wide release
Many of the reviews make mention that “Gone Girl” marks a return to form for Fincher. His last film — “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2011) — was also an eagerly anticipated screen verison of a beloved book but that one was a critical and commercial disappointment. However, he still holds an Oscar IOU from four years ago when his critically adored “The Social Network” was bested by “The King’s Speech.”
“Gone Girl” already sits at seventh in our Best Picture chart. One of our 17 Oscar Experts — Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair) — has tapped it to take the top prize (See the predictions of the individual Experts here.) Fincher is in fifth place for Best Director while Pike is in the sixth slot for Best Actress and Affleck is in ninth position for Best Actor.
Take a gander at the reviews below and then be sure to make your Oscar predictions for Best Picture at the bottom of this post.
Justin Chang (Variety): “What makes “Gone Girl” so particularly potent – and such an appropriate match for this filmmaker’s icy view of the human condition – is its deliciously cynical attitude toward the relationship at its core; its sly awareness of the thin line between love and hate, happiness and misery; and its skill at laying bare the cruel, manipulative behavioral patterns that spouses can lapse into over time.”
David Edelstein (New York): On Affeck: “I never thought I’d write these words, but he carries the movie. He’s terrific. Fincher exploits, and helps him transcend, his most common failing, a certain handsome-lug lack of commitment.” On Pike: “Her acting is also a study in acting. In those few moments when the mask slips, she’s tight, frightened, childishly vulnerable, desperately grasping for a sense of control that the universe has denied her. I loved looking at her.”
James Rocchi (The Wrap): “With its shifting perspectives and timelines, its constant conflict between what’s said and what’s truly seen, “Gone Girl” is clean, clear, and perfectly constructed. Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and editor Jeff Baxter, both regular Fincher collaborators, deliver the kind of work that looks easy but, assuredly and on reflection, is decidedly not. The score, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, is a more mixed proposition, effective in the places it works and distracting on several occasions where it doesn’t.”
The only naysayer so far is Hollywood Reporter scribe Todd McCarthy. While he praises the performances, he thought: “the story seems manufactured rather than a genuine expression of the human condition. From Fincher’s point of view, the ultimate bleakness of life as portrayed here is similar to the perspectives of his other dark and murderous films, but this one does not stare mercilessly into the existential void in the manner of his best, most disturbing work.”
Below, use our easy drag-and-drop menu to cast your ballot for the Best Picture lineup.