The feature debut of writer-director Sara Colangelo, Little Accidents is an intense small town drama that premiered to positive notices at the 2014 installment of the Sundance Film Festival, and is now seeing a release one year on. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Lofland, Josh Lucas and Chloë Sevigny, it concerns several players in a …
As The Skeleton Twins delicately soars between comedy and tragedy, it smartly peels back layers of troubled backstory for the lives of its main characters: estranged twin siblings, separated for about a decade, who share suicidal tendencies. At the very moment Maggie Dean (Kristen Wiig), a dental hygienist from upstate New York, is about to swallow a handful of sleeping pills, she receives the message that her brother, Milo (Bill Hader), an unsuccessful actor in Hollywood, is in the hospital after slitting his wrists. Suicide and dysfunction runs in the Dean household. Their father killed himself when they were teenagers, and their mother (Joanna Gleason) is a pseudo-spiritual egotist with a thick layer of delusional and emotional baggage.
It is a crime against the film world to label David Fincher’s newest, ‘Gone Girl,’ with only one word or phrase. There are elements of “thriller” here, an essence of “police procedural.” There’s a teaspoon of “black comedy”, a dash of “recession-related social relevance” and a heaping helping of “media satire”
Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, Gone Girl’s literal translation and loyal adaptation acts as the film’s best friend and worst enemy. Some of the best parts of the novel work great on screen, while others are hard to portray. Since the majority of the audience is fully aware of what’s going on, widespread alterations are inevitably taken with caution, no matter how big or small. If too much of the storyline is given away too hastily, the appeal is lost before its midpoint. Unfortunately for director David Fincher, what’s left is a campy shell of a plot extracted from any remnants of wit and mystery.
Fincher is an expert chemist when it comes to concocting the nastiest tales of cynicism and darkness. Gone Girl may not be the culmination of his efforts to date, but it’s undoubtedly a sinister piece of work. There’s an oppressive air within the film, from its meticulously created soundscape and score (from Fincher alums Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to its plasticized aesthetic. The cynical attitude is evident from the first frame, as the camera looks at the top of Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) head and Nick (Ben Affleck) says he’d like to “crack [his] wife’s head” to reveal the secrets lying in her labyrinthine brain. From that kickoff, we understand this is not a happy marriage. Maybe Fincher feels no marriages are happy.