Rod Sedgwick’s review published on Letterboxd:
You don't know what you've got 'til it's...
David Fincher once again plays to his strengths in successfully adapting popular novels into the stuff of cinematic dreams/nightmares, as well as offering up much food for thought about the human condition via serpentine pulpy thriller narratives.
Gillian Flynn screen-writes the hell out of her own novel (boy I wanna read it now after the fact) and with Fincher's skilful direction and editing, manages to deliver a multi-perspective mystery that turns on a dime throughout in some truly fascinating ways.
The thematic juggling act is handled with grace and precision covering everything from media sensationalism, marriage disintegration, infidelity, perception and self-actualisation, parental expectation and class divide, all with a blackly humorous satirical slant.
The pace is tight and measured and I could not predict into what waters it would steer me at any point and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring their own delicious elements to the table, as they have in past collaborations with Fincher - with one scene in particular flooring me (you will know it when you see it), the photography and score being a big part of its effectiveness.
Performances are pitch perfect across the board with Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris all impressing, but it will likely be Rosamund Pike that will deservedly garner the most praise for her brave performance (that 'cool-girl' scene will go down as one of Fincher's finest montages).
I have always been an enthusiast of the thriller/mystery genre and consider Fincher's contributions to be some of the very best examples, and feel I can confidently approach any of his films and receive complete satisfaction due to the meticulous effort he applies to his craft, and Gone Girl easily sits alongside his very best work, as a densely layered and enduring masterpiece.
I wanna write so much, but I feel even more will spill out after a second viewing, so until then...
P.S. One of my favourite critic’s Scott Tobias offered up some delicious food for thought over at The Dissolve: thedissolve.com/news/3504-op-ed-understanding-gone-girl-through-an-even-nast/
And another great article from The New Yorker: www.newyorker.com/books/joshua-rothman/gone-girl-really