Gone Girl (2014)
October 3, 2014 6:56 AM - Subscribe

With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.
posted by donajo (80 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm really curious as to what someone who hasn't read the novel thinks of this movie. It was fun to watch on-screen, but knowing all of the twists in advance, I didn't experience any of the gut-punches I got from reading the book.
posted by donajo at 7:03 AM on October 3, 2014


I read the book but haven't seen the movie yet. I heard that they rewrote the entire ending to avoid spoilers. Is that true?
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:58 AM on October 3, 2014


No, it's not true. Vulture has an explanation of the rumors.
posted by donajo at 9:01 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I saw it last night and have not read the book. I liked it quite a bit, but while it took some twists and turns, none of it felt especially gut-punching or blindsiding. More often I would think, "Oh sure, that explains it." Perhaps the film sets everything up a bit more purposefully?

Plus, beyond a certain point, I had also lost empathy with many of the characters, so my overall investment was pretty shot.
posted by dogwalker at 10:09 AM on October 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that's part of it, I think. Nick and Amy aren't any more sympathetic in the book, but at least you're hearing the story from inside their heads, so that helps one stay invested, I think.
posted by donajo at 1:04 PM on October 3, 2014


The worst thing about the movie has to be the wig they put on Rosamunde Pike for 3/4 of the story, amirite?
posted by donajo at 1:56 PM on October 3, 2014


Wow. Just got back and feel more than a little overwhelmed. I'll have to see if I can unpack how I feel about it tomorrow.
posted by octothorpe at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2014


Rosamund Pike was excellent. Ben Affleck was...well, I thought he was ok. IMO, he came across too one dimensional versus book Nick Dunne considering his predicament. For example, when the police kept doubting his story, I kept waiting for him to lose it a bit more, among other scenes.

(And about that movie poster, I just keep thinking of a future Batman pose...ugh.)
posted by foxhat10 at 8:45 PM on October 3, 2014


Wow. Just got back and feel more than a little overwhelmed. I'll have to see if I can unpack how I feel about it tomorrow.

That's how I felt walking out of the theater last night as well. I'm pretty sure I have some problems with this movie that I'll be able to sort through when I get to seeing it again (which won't be in theaters). But at the same time, there's also a lot here to like. At the very least, I enjoyed this a lot more than Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.

Also for what it's worth, I'm someone who hadn't read the book and stayed unspoiled to anything that happens after the first ten minutes or so of the movie. I would say the initial reveal that Amy was alive was a gut punch for me, but not anything after that until the end. You could kind of feel the theater I was in collectively gasp when the movie ended the way it did. I liked the ending for all its noir sourness, but at the same time understand why the crowd reacted the way it did.

Finally, I really hope the actress who played Margo gets a lot more good roles like this one. She's apparently an award winning stage actress or something? She was great.
posted by sparkletone at 2:49 PM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was aware of he book but hadn't read it. Wasn't expecting all that much but went along with my SO and the awareness that it was a Fincher flick. Simply astonished by this film. Its like three or four films mashed up together. First half hour mixes a sort of idealised romantic dream sequence with a more procedural vibe. The whole thing shifts well away from both those positions to go through various perspectives, for example relating to media impacts on justice and manipulation of the media themselves. Just a huge melange of different styles. I left feeling like Fincher had really played with me and the audience.

Go and see this. Then wonder what the hell is going on and see it again, as I feel compelled to do.

I can't remember ever turning round and seeing an audience so subdued after a big film after seeming to be enthralled.

I will be putting down money that Pike will be in the running for the Oscar on the back of this. It also seems remarkable to me that Flynn was allowed to convert her own novel as a first screenplay and as seemingly the only screenwriter but she seems to have knocked it out of the ground. This is remarkable - its almost like Fincher has tried to fit an entire TV season into a single film and largely pulls it off. I wasn't really interested in reading the novel but now I am on the back of my SO's assurance that it is nothing like the film and wanting to know what has come from there and what is pure Fincher. Intriguing. I am genuinely looking forward to reading the opinion of people better qualified to assess this. I cannot remember going into a film this uninterested, thinking it was tosh for so long and then being so hooked as to what the director was aiming for.
posted by biffa at 4:23 PM on October 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did anyone else notice that the two beers they were drinking at the meet-cute scene (Hoegaarden and Leffe) were the same two beers that were in Desi's fridge at the lake house? Was this just product placement, or is there a greater connection?
posted by lizjohn at 7:01 PM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I didn't notice but would just assume Creepy Rich Guy either enjoys them himself or had heard her mention liking those beers at some point and so made a point of having them on hand.
posted by sparkletone at 8:57 PM on October 4, 2014


This was one of those rare instances where I thought the movie was a lot better than the book, though they didn't deviate all that significantly from one another in plot, from what I could remember. Maybe it's just that the whole TV combat angle was more immediate.
posted by whir at 11:11 PM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


whir, agreed. I felt like the movie felt more real and/or reliable than the book, possibly because I didn't like the style the book was written in, but also things came alive for me that just didn't in the book. I have been trying to unpack this in the past couple hours since I saw the movie but I can't quite get at it-- I think it was just a case of a talented director knowing where to put all the pieces. (Whereas I felt like Flynn is an entertaining author but let the book get away from her at times.) Flynn included pieces of psychological realism that were missing from the movie but I didn't actually miss them given the movie. Fincher did the same with Se7en, I suppose-- ridiculous, even hokey premise that Fincher somehow pulls off.

Anyway, I don't have much more to say about this than Rosamund Pike was great. For me, one of the most lasting themes of the book was how self-centered Nick was and how this was the defining aspect of his personality-- he did a great job of playing the nice boy but was ultimately a narcissist and Amy brought that alive in him. He was never a good guy-- he was also never as evil as Amy, but he would always be more wrapped up in drama and fantasy than grounded in the real world. He doesn't have a soul. I felt like this came across in the movie also. I think I just loved that even though I knew all the major plot twists, this movie was still genuinely engrossing (you stay with these fucking characters, who are somehow relateably psychopathic, much more than any on-screen murderers have been for me before) and on the heels of The Drop (which I saw yesterday) I am quite delighted with the movies lately. This felt Nolan-like to me in how complex and well-orchestrated it was while also being elegantly disgusting.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:26 PM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh also, and that after everything the scariest part is they're going to have a fucking baby!

A lot of it felt overwrought to me in the book but in a movie that clips along at a steady pace you don't have as much time to think "uh, but why... ?" Also, a lot of the weaker elements made their way into the movie (really? a bar called The Bar is "meta"? Also, Nick's flirting game, just no) but they didn't hurt as bad there, maybe because the film was well shot and directed so there was more than just the textuality of a really bad joke to linger on. (Also it's always seemed to me a crucial flaw that Amy is supposed to be stately and Ivy League educated but people so believe in this happy Midwestern bubblegum mommy-to-be diary that she conjures up in pink ink, but this is just one of those things that didn't fit together for me upon first read and this time around I just ignored. Maybe it's reasoned out in the book, I don't remember.)
posted by stoneandstar at 11:30 PM on October 4, 2014


I felt like Nick's cringe inducing flirting at the beginning was essential to show what a creepy asshole he was. That and the fact that he writes for a men's magazine makes you realize that he's a pick-up artist or close to.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, brain dump:

* Fincher is an amazing filmmaker. Maybe too good. Sometimes I got so lost in how amazing the movie looked and sounded that I forgot to pay attention to the action. The precision of his framing, lighting and blocking is just jaw-dropping sometimes.

* I wasn't expecting it to be so laugh-out-loud funny. Fincher's stuff usually has a grim cynical sense of humor but this was almost Coen-like. The audience I was with seemed to love it.

* I loved Affleck's performance. He's thinks he's a player but is so far over his head that he takes forever to realized that he's been played. The slow burn as that realization finally takes hold was great to watch.

* The supporting cast was great. The sister, both detectives, Tyler Perry(!), the redneck couple, the TV anchor all had great parts and gave great performances. The only acting sour note I thought was Neil Patrick Harris, sadly. I thought that he was too over the top creepy and villainous.

* I loved the structure of it. A mediocre filmmaker might have waited until the end to do the big super secret reveal but we're treated to that an hour in. I love how it managed to totally switch gears less than half-way through without making you feel cheated. Also, it managed to be 2 1/2 hours long but didn't seem long.

* Loved the cat.

* Movies that I thought of while watching this: Eyes Wide Shut, Fatal Instinct, To Die For, Suspicion, War of the Roses, Psycho (blood down the drain).

* Mastermind game!
posted by octothorpe at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was wondering about the cat and whether it would have any deeper significance. I did note it was all ginger which put me in mind of Alien, and since it was Fincher...
posted by biffa at 9:06 AM on October 5, 2014


After reading the book, the thing I most wanted to see was Nick's face. His villain-handsome face is such an important part of the book, I really wanted to see it represented. Especially the smile in front of the reporters, with Amy's poster. Reading the book, I got so close to imagining it, but not quite.

Affleck was perfect. That smile was PERFECT. You could totally see both aspects to it: the cold blooded killer the media sees and the thoughtless politeness Nick intended.
posted by meese at 1:09 PM on October 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


So the thing about this movie is everything about it makes me want to see it. Except that Ben Affleck stars. And his wang, apparently.

You guys seem to have convinced me to go see it nevertheless!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:40 PM on October 5, 2014


I loved the Mastermind game at the beginning because 1) obviously meaningful and 2) Nick getting that gift for Margot, saying "you love this game!" and her being like "dur, YOU love that game," because Nick probably associated with Margot because he played it with her all the time and enjoyed winning/beating her. Same as later when he keeps saying "I lost my job," forgetting that Amy actually also lost her job. Just that casual self-centered thoughtlessness. You begin to suspect that even if he DID love Amy, he would behave the same way, move on quickly. They didn't lay on Nick's sexism as thick in the movie, clearly, but made him look like kind of a selfish a-hole with anger issues.
posted by stoneandstar at 2:41 PM on October 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Except that Ben Affleck stars. And his wang, apparently.

He is actually great! In that way where you wouldn't be like "Affleck is a GENIUS for capturing it perfectly," you're just like, "Wow Affleck was born to play this soulless dummy, so much so that it isn't even a triumph on his part, just nature." He does do a good job of hitting it out of the park in the TV interview segments of the show (and that damning smile). And his wang makes only a bashful cameo.
posted by stoneandstar at 2:43 PM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did anyone else notice that the two beers they were drinking at the meet-cute scene (Hoegaarden and Leffe) were the same two beers that were in Desi's fridge at the lake house? Was this just product placement, or is there a greater connection?

You can also see a bottle of Leffe among the beer choices at The Bar in the first scene between Nick and Go the day Amy disappears. I think it's just product placement.
posted by terilou at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2014


It wasn't as sleazy as I was hoping.

Finally, I really hope the actress who played Margo gets a lot more good roles like this one. She's apparently an award winning stage actress or something? She was great.

She's in The Leftovers on HBO. Her character in that is a lot different than Margot.
posted by edeezy at 7:26 PM on October 5, 2014


I read this for book group and the woman who recommended it was all OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS and she scared me a little. I dubbed it the Manic Pixie Dream Serial Killer Novel.

Which doesn't mean I don't like it. I think what I like most about it is that the author claims she got the idea for it while on her honeymoon.

I have seen criticism of it from people who say it plays into MRA stereotypes about women and it does, but it does so in a sly way. The author is saying basically, you want the nightmare succubus you crudely describe in Fatal Attraction and the fevered rantings of Reddit bottom-feeders? I'll show you how she would really work, and she's more terrifying than you ever imagined. And there will be no cathartic triumph at the end where you get to kill her off.
posted by emjaybee at 9:49 PM on October 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I saw it last night and it's been over a year since I read the book, so I have trouble remembering the differences between book and movie. It's the first movie I can think of that, when I've seen it in the cinema, the audience is laughing at the climactic scene like the one between Amy and Desi -- but it was just so, so over the top (the truly awful part for me was when she's standing in the shower, washing the blood off like it's nothing, telling Nick that he's stuck with her).

I don't remember being so *angry* at the end of the book, with the lack of closure. In the book I think Nick is more of an asshole, less innocent, and so they both get exactly what they deserve -- each other. In the movie I was still feeling bad for him, even though I knew I shouldn't, and wishing Amy got her comeuppance. Ben Affleck played it too nice, and too dumb, I thought.
posted by tracicle at 12:31 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nick seemed like an ass, a creepy teacher, and a selfish jerk. But Amy seemed full on sociopath, and not just from Nick either, based on her framing her ex for rape. So, now Nick is living with a person who's successfully told these false stories twice, and if unhappy or if her goals change, seems perfectly willing to do it again. Nick's love for presumably his unborn child means he can't act against Amy now, or flee for his life. But Amy expects only fighting and nagging from a marriage, so he ought to do something soon. He's not as good of a story teller as Amy, and not as devious, so the only plan I could come up with would be a) start recording everything, and/or B) drive himself and her off a bridge and hope for the best.
posted by garlic at 6:06 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have seen criticism of it from people who say it plays into MRA stereotypes about women and it does, but it does so in a sly way. The author is saying basically, you want the nightmare succubus you crudely describe in Fatal Attraction and the fevered rantings of Reddit bottom-feeders? I'll show you how she would really work, and she's more terrifying than you ever imagined. And there will be no cathartic triumph at the end where you get to kill her off.

I think it's also important to recognize where Amy comes from. She isn't inexplicably messed up and awful. Instead, she's the product of her environment. Why might some woman grow up to become the horrible MRA stereotype that she is--faking rape, manipulating men, treating all people as mere objects in her schemes? Because of the very sort of gendered background that MRA folks applaud as right and natural.

What happens to a little girl who is raised constantly with a fictionalized standard of herself being paraded in front of her? What happens when that fictionalized standard is loved more than she, the actual flesh-and-blood person? When she is pecked at and sniped at and constantly belittled, when she cannot match that standard? When she is applauded for meeting that standard, when she is given love and affection for presenting that public front, for molding her outward behavior and appearances to that standard? She becomes empty on the inside. She becomes warped.

Amy, at the start--the fake Amy, the Amy of the diary, the Amy of her public persona-- is literally amazing. She does the impossible: she is both virgin and whore. She meets every requirement society puts on women. She is the sexy slut, the professional worker, the dutiful daughter, the beloved and love-worthy public image of a young child. She is everything women are expected to be. She's the Cool Girl. It's just, the only reason she manages that, is because she puts on those roles as masks. This is the same thing everyone does, to some extent or another, when they shift from some social scene to another... We all have social 'masks' that vary. But Amy doesn't realize that most people have something else inside them, that they can allow some authenticity and personhood to slip through, despite those social masks. The reason why the virgin/whore dichotomy is impossible for real, honest-to-goodness women, is because, those roles, 'virgin' and 'whore', are at odds with something deeper in themselves, their complex inner-beings. But not Amy. She manages the impossible because, she doesn't have that deeper authenticity, that real self that is just smoothed out as appropriate for some social setting. She is the virgin when she recognizes it is expected of her. She is the whore when it is expected of her. She can do that, because she is, in her entirety, to her core, empty of anything other than what is expected of her.

Well, almost. No one is thoroughly empty. No one is only a mask. But having been robbed of any authentic self, having been constantly raised to be what others expect and want rather than herself, she has a deep pit of rage. You can't make someone just a mask. You might end up destroying any chance they have at authenticity, at selfhood, but only by replacing it with anger, hatred. And that's Amy.

In thinking about the movie, I keep thinking of that video Jay Smooth did about "the rules" for women -- about he he wants to see the updated rules. Because they're complicated, and they're complex. You have to dress nice, but not slutty. You have to be kind, but don't invite attention. You have to be outgoing and party, but you can't lose sight of your drink, you can't dance to close to a guy, you can't let your guard down for a second. There are so many of them! There are so many, and they're so complex, that it's realistically impossible to live by all of them. A woman is meant to understand herself as both the security guard and the desired object being guarded, constantly. That's so hard. It gets in the way of any sort of authentic experience, because you have to be constantly on guard and on display. Any real human being, with real feelings and desires of her own, won't be able to keep it up. No matter what, a woman will fail -- and when she does, she'll be held responsible for what follows. Everyone fails these rules... except Amy.

The only thing is, there's another rule, perhaps the most complex rule. It's the rule about when you shouldn't be following the rules. When you're out in the world, in a public space, these rules apply. When you're at a party, watch your drink; when you're walking outside, take care in how long your skirt is, etc. But they're not supposed to apply at home, in privacy. With your family and friends, with your loved ones, with your husband, you're supposed to sometimes let your guard down. You're supposed to be authentic, rather than the guard-and-guarded-object, in those most intimate relationships. You're supposed to be your true self. The person your husband marries should be you, rather than a mask.

Of course, not always. Even in those most intimate relationships, there are still rules that are meant to be observed, times and circumstances where one is meant to be the Right Sort rather than the Wrong Sort. By society's standards, a wife is still held to the standards of the virgin/whore dichotomy. She is meant to have an authentic personality that is available to her husband and other loved ones... but she is still expected to be sweet and innocent towards others while also meeting her husband's sexy fantasies, being the object of his desire. (In a healthy, mutually supportive, feminist marriage, this wouldn't be the case. In that context, the ideal is to have a melding of one's own sexual desires and one's partner's, so that both participants in the act actually inhabit their authentic selves through intercourse. But, in our sexist, gendered society, it is still pretty firmly entrenched in the public imagination that sexuality is something men have that women endure. For someone with the sort of gender-related assumptions that Nick and Amy both have, it is expected that sexuality is something that a woman performs--it is rule-based activities, rather than authentic.)

The only rules Amy hasn't successfully mastered are these: the rules about when not to be following the rules. The rules about when one's authentic self is supposed to be 'let out' rather than hidden. The rules about when one should just be rather than being guarded. Amy doesn't even comprehend these rules. She cannot fathom allowing her authentic self to shine through, because she has no authentic self. She cannot comprehend what human interaction is like, without that guard-and-object perspective, without the rules. She is the perfect woman that she is only because she has so thoroughly internalized the rules governing women's behavior in our gendered society that she is incapable of comprehending non-rules-based interaction. That's also why she's an evil psychopath of the sort MRA dudes imagine.

Why would MRA sorts have villains like Amy loom so large in their imagination? Because that's the only option available, given their standards and assumptions. She is the sort of woman they envision as perfect. MRA sorts just don't realize that their nightmare villainness is just the flipside of their ideal.
posted by meese at 8:20 AM on October 6, 2014 [36 favorites]


The potential misogyny in the movie is part of why I said my initial feelings were somewhat complicated the night of seeing it. Having read some stuff and thought about it, I don't think it's a problematic as it might seem at first glance. Todd VanDerWerff explored the issue pretty thoroughly in an essay that went up today. That "product of her environment" thing is pretty much exactly how he reads it as well. Amy doesn't exist in a vacuum and the movie, at least as I remember it, does a pretty good job of pointing this out.
posted by sparkletone at 8:35 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


There are an impressive number of female roles in the movie for Hollywood, and only Amy is the MRA villainous.
posted by garlic at 8:55 AM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


With the ending, it feels to me like her new story of what went down with Desi is so full of cracks and holes. Unlike her framing of Nick, which she seems to have been planning for months or years, her story about Desi has been invented rather rapidly. Sure, she faked some video on the cams to make it look like she was hurt - but he had cams everywhere, collecting footage that would disprove or at least raise questions. ("Here you are looking like you've just been beat up, but the time stamp doesn't match this video where Desi drove away, so since he was gone, who actually hurt you?") It just seems to me that the Feds could easily discover the ruse. If they tried. Which leads to one of the big themes of the movie, I suppose - that because she's a pretty white woman victim, the Feds will simply believe her story and not look at the evidence too closely.
posted by dnash at 9:03 AM on October 6, 2014


Which leads to one of the big themes of the movie, I suppose - that because she's a pretty white woman victim, the Feds will simply believe her story and not look at the evidence too closely.

I noticed that too, the moment she started lying while in the hospital and Detective Boney started questioning the obvious holes in her story. You could see the FBI people side-eyeing her and tensing up. The movie addresses it even more directly in the conversation between Nick, Margo, Boney and Tanner Bolt at ... an airport or whatever the hell that was. It's explicitly stated that if Detective Boney starts digging around the case she is going to catch hell and then some given the media circus around the case and what not.

It felt to me perfectly fitting as part of the "sour noir ending" they were going with.
posted by sparkletone at 9:06 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's an AV Club think piece on the book versus the film, which essentially argues that Amy is more of a villainous monster in the film than she was in the book. (I don't find the argument very convincing, myself, but it's an interesting take and ties into the question of how much misogyny is in the movie.)
posted by whir at 1:32 PM on October 6, 2014


I just saw this with my gf. I kind of wonder how it would be to see it with a guy I was dating rather than my female partner, just because there was so much gender stuff going on with it, from both sides. I knew pretty much nothing about the movie beyond the (pleasantly spoiler-free) trailers I'd seen, but I'd had it recommended to my by a couple of folks.

I suspected that Amy was still alive pretty early on, but was caught off guard by a couple of later twists as they happened. Some of the twistedness was hilarious - figuring out what she was doing as soon as she tied the ribbon around her ankle and headed for the door. NPH was kind of villainous, but I think he walked the line pretty well. The grand guignol bloodbath in Desi's house all the way through to her being still covered in blood as she left the hospital was delightful in its theatricality - I can imagine Amy thinking hard about the most mediagenic way to announce her survival. (Good thing Desi had enough gas in his car, because stopping to fill up in that outfit might attract attention.)
posted by rmd1023 at 5:19 PM on October 6, 2014


Finally watched it.

Re: the cat. Cats are sociopaths, and I thought it was perfect that there was this cat watching everything unfold, his family being torn apart, and simply not caring. He had more facial expression than Nick for the early scenes.

Re: The MRA angle. The entire thing is an MRA nightmare/wetdream, but it's also entirely farcical. For heaven's sake, Nick hires Madea to exonerate him. Even the tensest parts were laugh out loud funny. The elaborate lengths she has to go to set everything up make it seem comical and extremely unrealistic. To point to this as an example of anything in real life would be ridiculous, and I think that's part of Fincher's intention. At parts, the soundtrack perfectly emulated A&E made for tv movies, full of women trying to kill their husbands.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:43 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Dissolve also has a nice essay about the movie.
posted by sparkletone at 10:14 PM on October 6, 2014


I haven't yet read the book, but I was comparing the with The Robber Bride. Zenia is awful, but three women who would otherwise have nothing in common have a sisterhood bond because of her.
posted by brujita at 2:15 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ugh. I went into the movie with high expectations but ended up disliking it. I thought the transitions from the romance to the marriage deadening were unconvincing; I thought the plot twists were preposterous (particularly with the kidnapping & murder); I thought Affleck not telling the truth IMMEDIATELY after Amy came back was ridiculous.

I also didn't really believe Amy as a character. I have a hard time seeing her conceal her extreme personality defects from her husband for so many years.

Oh, and by the way, trying to turn Amy's murderous monstrousness into some kind of advertisement for how Sexism Is To Blame is just laughable (not to mention morally execrable). This movie is just noir trash, not any kind of deep statement about gender roles, and it certainly does feminism no favors.
posted by shivohum at 8:53 PM on October 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Did anyone else notice that the two beers they were drinking at the meet-cute scene (Hoegaarden and Leffe) were the same two beers that were in Desi's fridge at the lake house? Was this just product placement, or is there a greater connection?

You can also see a bottle of Leffe among the beer choices at The Bar in the first scene between Nick and Go the day Amy disappears. I think it's just product placement.


Amy likely brought the Belgian beers to the party in the first place. Didn't Nick compliment her choice of beers? Either Nick stocked them in the bar for her or she, being the owner, requested them. Maybe she and NPH's character enjoyed them back when, too.

I'm really curious as to what someone who hasn't read the novel thinks of this movie. It was fun to watch on-screen, but knowing all of the twists in advance, I didn't experience any of the gut-punches I got from reading the book.

I haven't read it, but I thought the movie was terrific. I knew fairly early on that she'd "kidnapped" herself, but did not see any of the twists with Desi coming. The murder, the frantic return to Nick, Nick staying (being stuck) with her. Damn.

Sometimes I appreciate an artistic ending, but more often than not I want to know how the characters lived out until the end of their days so I was disappointed with the ending. Still a good ending, though.

I wanted more from the lawyer's "Best Men" and I wanted more from the couple that robbed Amy, since they seemed clever enough to completely out her.

Rosamund Pike was stellar. I'd like for her to perform every audiobook ever from now on. Her voice is amazing. But, sorry, the Oscar goes to the guy playing Stephen Hawking in the Best Actor in a Trailer Preceding Gone Girl category.
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:30 AM on October 8, 2014


Gone Girl, Psycho, and How David Fincher Borrows From Alfred Hitchcock

I immediately thought of Psycho during the shot of the blood draining down the shower but didn't catch all the other references.
posted by octothorpe at 7:26 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


This movie is just noir trash, not any kind of deep statement about gender roles, and it certainly does feminism no favors.

Well, thankfully a movie doesn't have to be the Lifetime Movie of the Week to be a deep statement about gender roles, and feminism doesn't hang in the precarious balance of what one crazy neo-noir/comedy of remarriage has to say about it.
posted by stoneandstar at 2:10 PM on October 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


I did not read the book. For the first hour or so I hoped Nick was guilty because Nick is a jerk and it would have been great to see Affleck play a villain. Then, after Amy is revealed to be alive, I was disappointed that it was going to be yet another story with the woman as murderous antagonist. When Amy returned to Nick and tried to convince him of her renewed commitment and loyalty to the marriage, I assumed she was trying to get him to lower his guard so she could murder him. But, no, the film wants us to understand that she is sincere and most importantly, she is telling the truth and in fact stating the message and point of the whole story. I just didn't buy it.

Also, why didn't Amy stay with Desi? He was an upgrade from her cheating lazy husband. Desi was a rich fool eating out of her hand. We're supposed to believe that she suddenly stopped hating Nick because of his nice words on TV? In what way was a life with Nick preferable to a life with Desi?

And speaking of Desi, where were his family and associates after she framed him for kidnapping and abuse? Why didn't they hire investigators and lawyers to attack her story and clear his name? With all their money, it's not believable they would do nothing and give up the fight.
posted by conrad53 at 7:35 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, why didn't Amy stay with Desi?

What? This was made incredibly clear. He was creepy, rapey and to her point of view, even more hopeless and manipulatable than Nick. She only went to him out of desperation and he proceeded to be the creepiest ever.

I feel like the movie made that really, really clear. He's ALL THE DOWNSIDES of having a man run your life and there's no upside unless you count the well-stocked fridge as something that outweighs how rapey he is.

Nick in the movie is a lot of things, but he isn't that kind of monster. If Nick gets the treatment from Amy that he does... To her mind, Desi must deserve 1000x worse.
posted by sparkletone at 9:43 PM on October 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


And as for Desi's family, what are they going to do to combat the accusation that he was dangerously obsessed with Amy? He didn't deserve to die, of course, but he absolutely was dangerously obsessed with her...

Even assuming he has family, why wade into that?
posted by sparkletone at 9:48 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Desi is obsessed with Amy and has control issues, for sure. He is also a tool that Amy has carefully cultivated for years--responding to his letters not to 'be nice' but to provide her with an emergency backup option throughout her life, which she takes advantage of when her plan to frame Nick goes awry.

I don't get why you have twice described Desi as rapey, though, sparkletone. I didn't remember that being asserted by anyone in the film, either--was it brought up in the book? Or are you just confusing him with Amy's other ex, who she accused of rape?
posted by misha at 1:12 PM on October 11, 2014


Amy realizes that she has has painted herself into a corner once she called Desi and let him rescue her and killing him and framing him for her kidnapping is her only way to get out of that corner. As long as he was alive, he could potentially tell the press and police the truth about how she faked her own abduction. She had to kill him to make the story of him being the villain of the story plausible without allowing him to defend himself.
posted by octothorpe at 6:24 PM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just saw this tonight—a lot to think about! I haven't read the book, and I came in having it spoiled that Amy "kidnapped" herself but was still totally engaged by all the other twists. Rosamund Pike was fantastic, and so chilling to watch.

One of the things I enjoyed most was how, especially in the mystery/noir elements, Fincher managed to get me on everybody's side at one point. (Maybe that's just another way of saying I was rooting for none of the characters... huh.) I was rooting for the detective to unearth Amy's con, rooting for Nick to get out from under her tricks, but also rooting for Amy to get away with her plan 100% (because how cool would that be?!). I was disappointed when her new putt-putt friends(?) robbed her, mostly because I was so curious to see what her end-game would actually be.

Also like how they drew out the "Amazing Amy" idea, this sense that we are all just playing out these fantasy characters that do the things we want to do and are the way we want to be.
posted by Zephyrial at 7:29 PM on October 11, 2014


I don't get why you have twice described Desi as rapey, though, sparkletone. I didn't remember that being asserted by anyone in the film, either--was it brought up in the book?

He's constantly clearly expecting sex in return for what he's doing. I've only seen the movie once, but my recollection is that in private there are constant microaggressions from him. Like he wasn't explicitly creepy in the casino, but the moment she's in his cabin he goes Full Creepy and doesn't let up until she kills him.

I describe him as rapey because I don't think Desi really respects Amy's agency in that area. He doesn't blatantly force himself on her that I can recall, but I totally believe he would if she'd held back long enough.
posted by sparkletone at 8:42 PM on October 11, 2014 [5 favorites]


Desi wasn't as rapey or horrifying in the movie, I thought. I vividly remember the part in the book where he's like, once you're "yourself" again, i.e. lose weight and dye your hair back, you'll feel better! Right?! Whereas the movie version of that didn't impact me as much... he almost seemed like, helpful and naive in that moment instead of controlling and shallow.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2014


Yo. I would like to speak up in defense of cats. In particular, the cat in this film.

Re: the cat. Cats are sociopaths, and I thought it was perfect that there was this cat watching everything unfold, his family being torn apart, and simply not caring. He had more facial expression than Nick for the early scenes.

I would say that the cat is the only character in the film who loves Nick and Amy both unconditionally. This is probably because he (I think it was a he) misses a lot of nuances. But think about it: The cat knew some shit was going down when Amy broke the table. Did the cat hide from his mistress's path of destruction? Nope. The cat followed Amy outside (concern). Nick's reaction to seeing the cat outside lets us know this is not normal behavior. So Nick and the cat are pals after that, but something interesting happens when Amy comes back. We see the cat cuddle with an upset Nick, which is very typical cat behavior...but later on, the cat situates himself directly between Nick and Amy in the kitchen. Whenever I have been in arguments with people in my home, my cat has shown a tendency to get between myself and the person. I don't think it's defense of either party so much as it is the cat attempting to defuse the conflict altogether by saying, "Hey, look at me, I'm your cat, why not talk to me instead, wouldn't you like that better?" Cats aren't sociopaths. They just don't have the time for our bullshit.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2014 [12 favorites]


Also like how they drew out the "Amazing Amy" idea, this sense that we are all just playing out these fantasy characters that do the things we want to do and are the way we want to be.

The movie seems to large concern itself with masks, pretense, authenticity and identity. Everyone is focused on how others see them, especially Amy. To her, the story that others believe about you is your true identity, and nothing else matters. Notice how mad she gets because Nick's girlfriend is able to reconstruct her identity as a victim when Amy wanted to cast her as the homewrecker. Nobody in the movie seems to have an authentic inner life.
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


In what way was a life with Nick preferable to a life with Desi?

Desi had an identity. He had a life, money and power. Nick was a powerless cipher that she could project any identity she wanted onto.

She wanted to do to Nick what her parents did to her, essentially. The whole kidnapping drama was her making their life 'better' than it was, more important than it was, at least in the eyes of others.
posted by empath at 9:48 AM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Desi had an identity. He had a life, money and power.

I dunno, Desi was essentially Gatsby. He built the outer trappings of a life in order to catch his Daisy. I think your above comment really nails it: The movie seems to large concern itself with masks, pretense, authenticity and identity. [...] Nobody in the movie seems to have an authentic inner life.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:02 AM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can we talk about Missi Pyle and Sela Ward? One of the things I loved about the book was the exploration of the media circus, and I thought the movie did a great job with Pyle (in perfect blustery Nancy Grace drag) and Ward (ohmigod, I could write a whole essay about how she turned on a dime from glad-handling chum to calculating viper when the camera went on) as the talk-show hosts.
posted by psoas at 2:26 PM on October 14, 2014


And his wang makes only a bashful cameo.

Shrinkage!

What happens to a little girl who is raised constantly with a fictionalized standard of herself being paraded in front of her? What happens when that fictionalized standard is loved more than she, the actual flesh-and-blood person? When she is pecked at and sniped at and constantly belittled, when she cannot match that standard? When she is applauded for meeting that standard, when she is given love and affection for presenting that public front, for molding her outward behavior and appearances to that standard? She becomes empty on the inside. She becomes warped.

This is the characterization that I don't think the movie really provided. If I hadn't read the book, I would think that Amy was simply a spoiled rich bitch who does bad stuff just because she can. However, I didn't come away from the movie feeling like it radiated with misogyny the way the book did.

It just seems to me that the Feds could easily discover the ruse. If they tried. Which leads to one of the big themes of the movie, I suppose - that because she's a pretty white woman victim, the Feds will simply believe her story and not look at the evidence too closely.

I think that was a failure of both the book and the movie. It wasn't believable to me that the Feds wouldn't have looked further into what with down with Amy's alleged kidnapping and Desi's murder. Everything was just too easily tied up with a pretty ribbon just on Amy's say so.

I dunno, Desi was essentially Gatsby. He built the outer trappings of a life in order to catch his Daisy.

That's the way the movie presented him. In the book his motivations are much deeper and in my opinion better explain his possessive and rescuing behavior toward Amy.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:35 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought it was predictable, boring, and at times even insulting.

It was Shitty Marriage Noir, and from the moment Nick first talked to his sister after the cops, I knew he was hiding something, but because it's Fincher, it's not that obvious, and it basically just colored in the rest of the coloring book from there.

Nick's totally out to lunch on his marriage, which makes him to me not an unreliable narrator, just a shitty, boring one. No insight, no connection, nothing worth caring about.

My biggest disappointment after I settled in for the second half just waiting for it to be over was that neither of them were killed off. That might've been a little satisfying.

It felt like somebody lost a bet, and had to punch up a Lifetime movie script while channeling Paluhniak. They flipped it! Now the lady is the crazy! Oh wow, she used her stalker! NOW WHO'S CRAZY, DOOGIE?

Just felt...eh. Nihilistic, and made shitty use of the few otherwise decent characters. His sister was a strong force for accountability and decency...until they required her not to be so they could wrap it up under 2.5 hours. It was just pathetic. I dunno what I missed that everybody else got, but maybe I've just seen too many detective movies.

I'm not even going to talk about how unbelievable the inability of anyone to, y'know, do some timelines on Desi's activities, maybe plot his movements with his cellphone, see he went to a casino, think Hey casinos have a lot of cameras, maybe we should...nah. The end bit of everybody seeing off Elvis in Missouri in the airport, where a bunch of supposedly grown adults kinda throw their hands in the air and say, "Welp, good luck with your murderer wife! Haaaaa marriage is crazy." Like...how fucking dumb do you think I am?
posted by turntraitor at 11:15 PM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm with the handful of people who think this is basically infuriating misogynist garbage. Sure, it's well done, which even makes it more reprehensible. I was almost willing to buy into the theories presented about there being a deeper meaning and that Amy is psychologically rich and rewarding and so forth, but even if these theories are true, it still makes my skin crawl having spent the movie in a theater in front of not one but two bros who couldn't help but make constant remarks to their girlfriends about how much of a B and a C Amy is. I just can't muster the faith in the audience to interpret this as brilliant noirish satire of gender roles or whatever the fuck.
posted by zeusianfog at 1:43 AM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some thoughts.

1. Really enjoyed it. Absolutely into Fincher making as many Hitchcockian Noirs with Reznor soundtracks as possible.
2. The MRA aspect is still a little troubling. Maybe because it's because this last few weeks has been this last few weeks, but I can totally imagine some Reddit dude watching it and being all "See? This is how they all are!".
3. Great central performance.
4. Ben Affleck was pretty good as a doofy but not all that likable guy as well - basically storytelling through casting.
5. Vaguely wonder if they considered casting Cruise to make the character more of an asshole.
6. NPH very good as a particular kind if creep.
7. Margo and the detective were the most relatable characters. Would have loved to have seen the detective Columboing the shit out of Amy. Spin off show!
8. Very sharp on the media narrative of murder. I love that they clearly fucking hate Nancy Grace, also that Affleck spends much of the first part of the movie being gender-flipped Amanda Knox.
9. Likewise like that once the murder narrative becomes the kidnap narrative everyone just goes with it, calls things done and anything that might challenge that narrative is actively rejected. Sorry, Lady Columbo.
10. Isn't the Cool Girl speech just Fake Geek Girl?
posted by Artw at 8:30 AM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Trying to imagine a gender flipped version of the movie is an interesting excercise.
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on October 19, 2014


In this interview, Flynn tries to push the cool girl definition further from 'fake geek girl'.

"As she says, you don’t see men suddenly becoming experts on Jane Austen and joining knitting clubs the way women will teach themselves something. I’m not saying all women do this, or that just because a woman says she likes football means she’s faking it. I love video games. I’d be really pissed off if someone said I loved video games because I was trying to be a Cool Girl.

But I see so many couples where the woman goes out of her way to try to get why her boyfriend or husband likes certain things, and tries to get involved in it in a way that’s not often reciprocated."

posted by tofu_crouton at 12:58 PM on October 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ooh, I hope folks are still reading this thread. I just got home from the movie and I have a lot of thoughts and questions, but most pressingly at the moment:

1. Did the incident where Nick pushes Amy and she falls onto the stairs actually happen? We're supposed to believe it at first, but it's a scene from her diary, which we later learn contains untrue claims about Nick being violent, so I then assumed (and I think the viewer is meant to assume?) she had made it up, until he slams her head against the wall near the end, which shows that at the very least it's something he could do. Also, as far as I can tell, the film doesn't actually show the viewer any other scenes directly from Amy's diary that are untrue.
2. And whether or not it's true, the whole town still believes that the contents of the diary is true, and still was totally thrilled for them to get back together, which I thought strained credulity a little bit...? Certainly abusers do get away with a lot IRL, but this seemed like a stretch.
3. Was finding Desi Amy's plan from the beginning or just once the couple stole her money? And was killing Desi always part of the plan, or just once he started being super creepy?
posted by naoko at 3:38 PM on October 22, 2014


Did the incident where Nick pushes Amy and she falls onto the stairs actually happen?

It didn't -- it was part of her deliberate attempt to portray in her diaries what would look like a progressively escalating spiral of violence.
posted by shivohum at 5:49 PM on October 22, 2014


2. And whether or not it's true, the whole town still believes that the contents of the diary is true, and still was totally thrilled for them to get back together, which I thought strained credulity a little bit...?

I took this to be part of the film's unsubtle, though well-presented, commentary on how people are more inclined to want to believe in a hollywood love story about redemption and love conquering all than they are interested in knowing the actual details of two people in a messy relationship. By and large (the film states) the hoi polloi don't care what the facts are as long as they can get their tearful TV interview at the end.

3. Was finding Desi Amy's plan from the beginning or just once the couple stole her money?

In the book it's not part of her plan - her initial plan is to kill herself and doom Nick to the gas chamber, which they show in the movie while she's holed up in the hotel but don't really emphasize as much as the book does. To me this made her a more sympathetic character in the book, and slightly less of a cartoonish supervillian.
posted by whir at 8:57 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems like there's an expectation that the detective work, etc. be realistic. My interpretation is that it's all purposefully preposterous. This is supposed to be the MRA nightmare, but it only works because of all kind of ridiculous occurrences, like no one following up on Amy's stories whatsoever.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:25 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is supposed to be the MRA nightmare, but it only works because of all kind of ridiculous occurrences, like no one following up on Amy's stories whatsoever.

Which is possible, since Amy has successfully played up the role of victim and the public loves her both through the "Amazing Amy" books and her time missing.

Maybe part of it is the expectation that the detective played by Kim Dickens would be more determined. Y'know like a typical fictional detective, who wouldn't care about the case being shut down or media backlash and continue digging.

That's pretty much Jake Gyllenhaal's character in Zodiac. So to see a Fincher movie where the detective just gives up...is a little disappointing.
posted by FJT at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


The line from The Wire about giving a shit when it isn't your turn comes to mind...
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Very true. If it was a typical detective like McNulty (or I thought of Adrian Monk) that got put on this case, there would definitely be another 30 minutes in the end where the Detective springs into action and does what everyone in the thread suggested (look at Desi's security footage, retrace Amy's journey, find that one thread that Amy left hanging and just yank on it like hell). And they would crack the case at a pivotal moment (like when Amy and Nick were being interviewed).

It strikes me that in some ways Gone Girl is like a typical whodunit mystery, but missing the nosy and obsessive detective.
posted by FJT at 7:48 PM on October 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Finally saw the movie and thought it was really good, but I don't know where I stand on the better than the book/not as good as the book divide. I may leave a foot in either camp and say that I think it was an excellent adaptation, but I think the character of Nick is not as much on the hook for his own blindness as he is in the book. This despite the fact that my first response to the book was horror at Nick being trapped so neatly by Amy and her pregnancy, and wanting a more genre-ish ending than the more ambiguous noir ending. It was only after I let things marinade that I came to appreciate how the story ended. Margo gets to deliver a few home truths but they kind of get lost.

The meeting in the airport restaurant was, well...I don't know. "Well, hope your crazy murdering sociopath of a wife does ok with you and the baby from now on. Don't piss her off. Hope you can fulfill whatever role she decides you get to play now." I want to know what this scenario looks like in five years, in ten years. What does Amy want now that she's back?

I found the acting occasionally a little stagey and the soundtrack, while good, overwhelming in spots, but I don't think either takes away too much from the movie. Margo was wonderful, as was Boney and her sidekick.

Once Amy is revealed to be alive and on the run, I was fascinated by how many scenes show her eating crappy food - it ties into the "cool girl" quote about staying a size two while shoveling hot dogs down her throat, and also to the (too understated) "Desi takes away the pudding because he likes waify underweight Amy" scene that I only caught because of the book.
posted by PussKillian at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2014


I'm pretty sure she was consciously trying to change her appearance by putting on weight, PussKillian, not just eating junk because she could.
posted by donajo at 10:31 AM on November 3, 2014


I thought that at the time that she was eating a bunch she was still thinking that she would ultimately commit suicide in a few days.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:43 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just that she's trying to change her weight or fit in, but by the time she's eating pudding with Desi, it seems to be more...I don't know, compulsive? She's eating it quickly while she's watching Nick on television, and then takes Desi's cup as well. It just seemed like an interesting note to play.
posted by PussKillian at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2014


Trying to imagine a gender flipped version of the movie is an interesting excercise.

I made a similar observation about the book and think it would have been received quite differently if it had been written by a man.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2014


His staying with her at the end makes absolutely no sense. She tried to have him murdered by the state, directly and gruesomely murders someone else, and he knows she's lying about the reasons. Yet he feels so much "responsibility" to a child he knows isn't his own that he puts himself in daily mortal danger by staying with her? WTF?
posted by transient at 2:40 PM on January 30, 2015


But the child IS his, it's from the sample that he thought was destroyed. They call it out a few times:
- he talks about finding the note about "warning for destruction" in the trash
- and the end he says "how are you pregnant when we didn't" and she explains that she had a sample (or however she says it). He says "but it was destroyed" and she replies "no, the notice to destroy was in the trash", implying that she actually saved it.
It's also a bit more clear in the book I thought.
posted by olya at 10:54 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the book, he's presented as more heartless, a sociopath in his own way, so when they reunite at the end, it appears as a sick twist on the you-are-the-only-one-who-understands-me fairy tale ending.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:11 PM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah! It makes more sense if they are portrayed as matching sociopaths, which the movie didn't do. I didn't read the book (I read Sharp Objects and was a little too bothered by it to explore her stuff further).
posted by transient at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2015


His staying with her at the end makes absolutely no sense.

Many months later (and having finally seen the movie last night), I will say, this is one place where the movie left out some really important book stuff.

In the book, when she gives him the line about "you think you can be happy with a nice Midwestern girl after being with me? I make you BETTER", Nick actually agrees with her, internally. He realizes that he likes the Nick he becomes when he's around her. He stays for the baby so he can mitigate the damage Amy does, somewhat, but mostly because he thinks she's right. He doesn't think he can go back to a "normal" life after experiencing life with Amy.

I enjoyed the movie, because Fincher, and because watching Ben Affleck/Nick's douchebag life collapse around his ears is just a complete joy. But I agree with those who have said they made Amy too villainous. A lot of the pleasure of the book was that she was a sociopath, but she was usually right. Nick and Desi are not victims in the book. They are predators who are shocked, SHOCKED to discover that their prey is biting back.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:18 AM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting. This is the first thing that's made me want to read the book after having seen the movie.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:59 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've watched this movie perhaps a half dozen times, which is rare for me, as I seldom watch a movie twice, let alone more than that. I suppose this movie's fascination lies in the fact that I am someone who tends to entertain revenge fantasies about people who have hurt me -- though, not being a sociopath, I don't ever come up with anything on this scale, even in fantasy, and I certainly don't act on the fantasies I do have. I think it's been good for me to see the revenge fantasy writ large -- it acts like a sort of aversion therapy, causing me to work on overcoming my own tendencies in that direction.

I agree with the above poster who wrote that Amy's entire idea of life was performative. I mean, she hadn't actually done all that much with her life -- she seems not to have had a clear idea of what she actually wanted. Sure, she got multiple degrees from prestigious universities, which was a worthwhile end in itself, but what did she do with her fine education? She wrote personality quizzes for a magazine. That's not exactly what I would call a worthwhile use of her clearly formidable intelligence and drive. Otherwise, she created a picture perfect shell of a life: the beautifully appointed brownstone, the extensive and understatedly chic wardrobe, maintaining her own model-level looks. Then apparently she bided her time until she got a marriage proposal, which was a while in coming because it wouldn't take a man of sense very long to realize that she was a nasty piece of work. Once she became a wife, she was the perfect wife, selling her brownstone and moving to Missouri with her husband to help care for her dying mother-in-law, setting up another perfectly maintained home that came up to her ideas of what her life should look like (who rents a place as grand as that house was?!) and buying her husband a bar. Then her douchenozzle of a husband cheats on her. He wasn't acting according to the script and being the perfect husband she thought she deserved in return (to be fair, she did have a right to expect fidelity from him). Oh the RAAAAAAAGE.

If she'd put a fraction of the level of concentrated intelligent effort into recreating her own life as she did into framing Nick, she'd have had a life worth having and that she actually wanted, and that in the process would have left Nick flat broke. Instead it became all about revenge, and her plan included committing suicide though she seems not to even have realized that she didn't actually want to die until the time came to act on it. Then she got boxed into a corner until her only viable option was to find a way back into her old life. THE BEST REVENGE IS LIVING WELL, AMY.

Like others in this thread I don't believe that the cops would simply have taken her word for it that Desi's murder was self-defense, or that the one cop who knew the truth could do nothing to prove it. Besides the video cameras at the lake house, there's no way Desi didn't have household help for his mansion and his lake house, and those people would have known that Amy wasn't there for the entire month that she was missing. Tracking Desi's movements and cell phone records for the past month of his life would also have turned up a hundred indications that he was not in any kind of contact with Amy for most of that time -- he may easily have been at work on the day Amy was supposedly abducted.

If there is ever a sequel, I hope it includes Amy's vengeance on the hillbilly couple who stole her money, because they at least would deserve it and it would be fun to see.

And Rosamunde Pike's IMDB page yield this interesting quote:

"[on David Fincher's suggestion that she use Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy as a model for Amy Dunne in Gone Girl (2014)] I ordered old copies of the Vanity Fair in which she appeared on the cover. I scoured the internet for any footage of her or, even better, any interviews or recordings which captured her voice. And I realized that David had basically given me a cipher to study. There are countless photographs of Bessette: gorgeous portraits in Vanity Fair; vibrant, intimate photographs taken of Bessette and Kennedy engrossed in each other at parties; shots of her walking the New York streets, wrapping herself in cashmere as protection against the cold and probably photographers, head down, her long blond hair shielding her face from full view. There are even a fair few shots of her and Kennedy clearly in the midst of blistering rows in Central Park, in the street, but I could find nothing of her in her own words. And I thought, Well, maybe that's fine. Amy, as she wants to be seen, should be created from outside in. I tried to find a way to own that body language, the self-protective seductiveness, head down, hair falling....I couldn't really read her face, and so I tried to use that quality. You meet Amy, she smiles, but her eyes are always scanning you, assessing, seeing if you can play the game, surprised and pleased when you score a point, feeling that you might after all be worthwhile. It is not a relaxing way to live."
posted by orange swan at 5:35 PM on September 29, 2016


I'm watching this right now. I did read the book. I also found it insulting, for reasons I have trouble articulating. Part of it seems to be that I got the sense the author felt like she'd pulled a fast one on *me* for getting me to read the book or, more to the point, buy it then read it.

But orange swan just uncovered something for me. Amy has all those talents, all those resources, all that potential, and she spends it on... getting her man.

And of course, not even a man who's worth the paper he's written on. It bugs me that this Subversively Feminist Narrative takes us back to that point.

However, I do agree that neither book nor movie are as profound as they think they are.
posted by tel3path at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2016


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