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Thoughts on "Gone Girl"

Christopher Robin Milne.jpg


I'm about to discuss a movie still in theatres. I will do so without regard for whether you want the various twists and turns to come as a surprise. So if you're going to this movie, and you do want to be surprised, stop reading now.

It isn't that I'll spoil all the twists, but I'll simply write in a way indifferent to what I spoil. Clear? Good.

Still with me? Better. Here's the thing. The central female character in the movie is famous, in a way she does not welcome. She is named "Amy," and is the daughter of a husband/wife writing team who have created a successful series of books collectively entitled Amazing Amy. The fictional "amazing" character's life is a somewhat fictionalized version of the actual Amy's life growing up.

The police detective who first investigates Amy's disappearance buys into this confusion, at least early on. She recognizes "Amazing Amy" related materials around the house and says, "Oooh, you're married to Amazing Amy!" The viewer wants to say, "no he isn't." After all, Christopher Milne wasn't "Christopher Robin."

Now you, dear reader, presumably get my choice of illustration above.

Anyway, one comes to discover as the movie unfolds that the real-world Amy is deeply, even amazingly, psychotic woman. She is a "gone" girl in at least two senses, and her metaphorical gone-ness is the cause of her physical gone-ness. The underlying theme, I gather, is that her confusion of reality and fantasy began early and was never remedied. She acts like someone who believes she can re-create reality at will, and has some success at doing so.

It is a good movie. It felt a bit long to me. [The length came, I gather, from a desire on the part of the filmmakers to keep all the twists and turns of the book faithfully.]

Those are my thoughts. I'll wrap this up with the names of the leading members of the cast: 

Ben Affleck (Nick), Rosamund Pike (Amy), Kim Dickens (Rhonda Boney, the abovementioned detective) , Patrick Fugit as Boney's side kick, Officer James Gilpin.

Finally, here's a shout out to Missi Pyle, who plays a TV talk-shot host who distorts and defines the case for her large audience -- a character named Ellen Abbott but plainly a parody of Nancy Grace. Wonderful scene-stealing stuff.


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