Was I really going to make this month’s edition anything else? Not only am I currently away to start my Fincher marathon over here, but many others have been working through David Fincher’s filmography to get to the release of Mank. It only seemed fitting that this month’s edition of The Ultimate Choice would be about his best directorial works.
This edition of The Ultimate Choice will take a new format. Whilst I will still be including the pieces that other film fans have shared in, I also plan to now include polls and tweets from people interactive over on Twitter. To make sure your voice can be heard and that you don’t miss a poll make sure to follow me on Twitter: @filmswithamy.
When asked about your favourite Fincher film on Twitter, I got a whopping 570 votes on the four options I left for here. Here are the results, as well as a few tweets talking about why they chose their picks – or suggested other films not listed in the poll.
THE ULTIMATE CHOICE POLL:— Amy Smith (@filmswithamy) November 1, 2020
What is your favourite David Fincher film? Leave a reply as to why you chose your pick, or if you have another film that is not on the list.
Mine is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.— Chris. (@Grumpyduck) November 1, 2020
Everything about it, the absolutely fantastic opening credits, the cinematography, the ambiance, even Craig’s acting are top notch. I’d even say Mara’s Salander is the best portrayal too. I’m never going to forgive not getting the sequels
These are certainly the right four – but Zodiac edges it. It’s stands apart from his own filmography and just about every other American film made in the last quarter century. There’s really nothing else like it.— Alec Price (@AlecFPrice) November 1, 2020
As great as Seven is, there is no film more fun, funny, thoughtful, sick, twisted, thought-provoking or exciting as Fight Club! And I’m the oddball that would take Panic Room over those other two.— Pete Turner (@ilovethatfilm) November 1, 2020
TSN effectively captured the formative years of the millenial generation. It’s among the most difficult topics to tackle and Fincher’s achievement is second only in that regard to The Graduate imho.— Matt Deibel (@mjdeibel626) November 1, 2020
Zodiac- the attention to facts and period detail. Also: The lake scene is one of the most horrifying in movie history, the basement scene is one of the most suspenseful in movie history— Orville’s Wedding (@the_year_is_one) November 1, 2020
That was only a taste of the conversation that was happening over on the poll tweet, in which I gained 46 replies and numerous people branching off from those replies. I wish I could share every tweet, but I did not expect this to gain the attention it did.
What is interesting to note is the result of the poll. It is not so much the winner, Se7en, or how close each choice was to each other, but the fact that The Social Network got the least amount of votes. This becomes interesting once you see what the overwhelming favourite pick of my fellow writers’ were for Fincher’s filmography.
Now all that is out of the way, let’s move on to the main part of the post. Time to read what our fellow film fans had to say about their favourite Fincher film.
The Social Network (2010)
Chosen by Amy Smith
The reason I am running The Fincher Files as a series is to rectify the fact that I have only seen two films from David Fincher. Whilst I loved both of them, I do have to say that the one that I gave a perfect 5/5 score to was none other than 2010’s The Social Network.
If there is any film that uses the opening sequence to set-up a character, their motives and personality, it may just be The Social Network. The film gets straight to the point, showing the attitude that Mark Zuckerberg has and where his priorities lie, making it clear that even though he is the lead character and this film may be focused on what made him successful, he is far from the protagonist even in his own story.
What draws people to Fincher’s work is the complex stories that he tells. He doesn’t tell the standard Hollywood story, he is not afraid to write about complex situations and show things in a different light. For many directors and screenwriters, writing a bio-pic about Facebook may be seen as a boring subject, or put Zuckerberg in a more positive light. Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay, as well as Fincher’s direction, brings this story to life in a way that I truly feel no other combination of filmmakers could even imagine.
The Social Network (2010)
Also chosen by Phoenix: Twitter | IMHO Reviews YouTube Channel
While Fincher has an array of excellent films in his filmography, I’m of the mind that The Social Network is his masterpiece. It was one of those moments where everything fit into place at the right time. You get Fincher’s masterful direction, Sorkin’s incredible screenplay, Reznor and Ross’s majestic score, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield at the top of their game, and the result is sheer perfection. At the end of it all, The Social Network has to be considered one of the most defining films of our generation and I’ll explain why.
Let’s start with the script. When it comes down to it, The Social Network is essentially a biopic. However, Sorkin is smart enough not to let the film fall down the usual tropes of a biography from rise to fall and rise again. Instead, he starts the film at the critical moment –the crossroads where Zuckerberg’s genius, character, and ingenuity meet. It is also the scene that exposes his vapidness, inconsideration, and ego. And immediately, the tone and direction of the film is set. What most films would need 30 minutes of screen-time to do, Sorkin captures in a single setting. Why is it significant? Because how we get Facebook is important but it’s not the whole of the story. It’s why we got Facebook and what it has become that is the meat and potatoes of the screenplay, and it’s why the movie stands the test of time.
Next is the score. No one expected this out of Trent Reznor, while he’d done some film scores in the past, none would be as memorable or significant as this one. The score isn’t ominous as much as it is foreboding and elegant. The quiet piano harmonies add a tremendous amount of tension to the flashback scenes and the subtle chorus notes adds the right amount of charm and indifference to the depositions. Reznor and Ross’s score is perfectly balanced. It lifts when necessary, falls behind when its supposed to, and helps carry a scene with the right emotion to its proper finish.
Now, I can’t forget to mention the acting. For a film that is told mostly through flashbacks, the amount of clarity and truthfulness every actor brings to their characters is otherworldly. Jesse Eisenberg might as well be Mark Zuckerberg in real life because of how well he embodied the man. The subtle things he added like a smirk here or there, or a knowing nod showed a man who was always a few steps ahead of everybody else and he knew it. The opposite of that is Garfield’s Eduardo Severin, Zuckerberg’s college best friend and co-founder of Facebook. Garfield plays Eduardo with the right amount of daze and paranoia. He wants to contribute and play a larger role, but is belittled by Mark at every turn, he starts to shrink. It isn’t until we see him in the depositions (which are shot to look like they take place years later) that Eduardo has fully come into himself as a man.His stature and poise are noticeably stronger as opposed to the previous scenes where he’s never given personal autonomy. Garfield owns the character matching each moment with precision. And surprisingly, Justin Timberlake was a standout here as well. When someone who comes from a different field steps into acting, they tend to take on the role of the good guy. They have a brand that must be protected. Here, Timberlake throws caution to the wind playing the genius behind Napster; billionaire Sean Parker as a venomous, leech-like opportunist. JT doesn’t have a masterclass acting scene like Garfield or Eisenberg do, but his portrayal as the villain of the story is unique and believable.
Finally, the direction. Having seen a number of Fincher’s other films, what he’s able to do with a camera is nothing short of amazing. How he’s able to capture mood, meaning, and symbolism in a single shot is mind-boggling. Whether its the opening scene and how this couple is spaced just slightly too far apart, the sharp cutaways over a deposition table as both sides are arguing, or the pan in on Garfield as he’s explaining what everyone’s percentages were reduced to, its truly perfect filmmaking. And with everything as good as it is in this movie, it’s the direction that steals the show. Fincher commands the camera with a steady hand and a complete understanding of the material he’s working with. This is why I consider The Social Network a masterpiece because it feels as if everyone involved are of one mind and body in this film. The script details a defining story of American history that forever changed our social interactions. The actors deliver nuanced and impeccable performances. Fincher shoots these scenes while capturing the tone, meaning, and subtlety of the script and the actors. Reznor and Ross accurately interpret those same tones and deliver it in music, and bam, perfect film.
What Fincher and crew were able to accomplish here has been replicated very few times since. And that’s why it remains his masterpiece, his best film to date, and the very definition of perfection.
The Social Network (2010)
Also chosen by Russell Bailey: Twitter | Not Just For Kids Podcast
There are few directors whose works resonate and grow quite like Fincher’s. And no work has quite pinged forth from its release and gained increasing relevance for me as The Social Network. Chronicling the birth of Facebook, audiences are a fly on the wall of one of the most influential moments in tech history. The website Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow students built has come to define aspects of our lives that seemed implausible with where it began.
So narratively this is a compelling film, but it is also the point that Fincher’s skills feel most attuned to the story being told. The craft at the centre of The Social Network is remarkable. From a pitch-perfect script, one of Aaron Sorkin’s best, to a technical prowess marrying Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ propulsive score with often Fincher collaborator (Fight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl) Jeff Cronenweth’s fluid camerawork, to a cast compromising some of the biggest up-and-comers of their generation. Fascinating, complicated performances interweave as relationships sour across the film’s runtime. You want to despise Jesse Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg but his arrogance is peppered with a desperation that makes him pitiable. Andrew Garfield for the most part charms as the wronged party but goodness you want him to have more of a backbone. This is also perhaps the best use of Justin Timberlake that cinema has ever had. These are nuanced representations of masculinity, a fascinating deconstruction of the toxicity that exists with examples of my gender. Plus you get not one but two Armie Hammers, which makes this a proper masterpiece.
The film begins with one of the defining scenes of the decade, an expertly written, brilliantly performed break up scene between Eisenberg and Rooney Mara (it is perhaps the films greatest weakness that, by necessity of the story being told, there are so few compelling female characters with Mara and, perhaps, Rashida Jones given anything to do). The line “you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole” will always resonate with me as much of the reason why it feels like the West is in the mess it is in. The Social Network is both an expertly crafted work, it is also one that feels one of the most relevant of the last decade.
The Social Network (2010)
Also chosen by Diana Coronado: Twitter | ScreenQueue Website
There is very little left to be written about The Social Network but I’ll do my best. The ultimate villain origin story, the perfect movie.
From first viewing, this movie is impressive. But upon further viewings, it is clear everything about this movie is absolutely perfect. David Fincher is in his element. Every scene, every piece is dialogue is tuned with the precision of a Facebook Ad algorithm. Aaron Sorkin creates a warm tone which calls back to the West Wing for the millennial generation. Combined that with the magnificent, legendary score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, it makes the perfect storm for the perfect movie.
On a side note, episode 11 of season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy features the “In Motion” track from the score.
The acting features the best performance to date from the then-young cast. Andrew Garfield deserved a Supporting Actor Academy Award. I’m not going to regurgitate a dissertation about the acting because better writers have articulated better than I could ever do.
Furthermore, as time goes by, it becomes clearer that Facebook and its holdings are a major threat to public health and democracy. The Social Network will keep cementing its part in history. From the beginning, Zuckerberg is shown to be an opportunist that disregards basic user privacy and consent. As with Juno (2007), every time I rewatch this film, a new layer is revealed or a new plot point becomes more relevant. As a high school senior, I watched this movie and looked upon the characters as inspiration. Ten years later, as a senior developer, I see the characters as partly misogynistic, greedy, villains. The basic idea of user privacy, ethics, and data ownership might not have been something in the forefront of 2004’s tech industry but Facebook has become the blueprint of how evil a tech company can become.
The Social Network will go down in history as one of the greatest movies of the new millennium.
The Social Network (2010)
Also chosen by Samuel Preston: Twitter | Cultured Vultures Website
There is no question that David Fincher is recognised as an auteur with obvious trademarks in his work. Whether the gritty violence of Seven, the enclosing paranoia of The Game, the suffocation of obsession in Zodiac, or the unflinching horrors of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the term Fincherian is not said in mocking jest. However, it may actually be the most unlikely film in his resume, The Social Network, that best demonstrates his undoubted talent. Unfairly derided when announced as ‘The Facebook Movie’, the choosing of David Fincher surprised many due to his seeming incompatibility to the subject matter. This continued until the hauntingly unnerving first trailer debuted, introducing the world to the use of slowed-down renditions of classic songs, in this case Scala and Kolacny Brothers’ cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.
The film itself features some career-best performances from Justin Timberlake (who confirmed himself as a true actor, not a singer who could happen to act) and Andrew Garfield, whose emotive outburst remains a highlight for its raw depiction of betrayal. Trent Reznor in partnership with Atticus Ross transitioned into the role of an Award-winning Soundtrack composer, earning unanimous praise for the ominous material he produced. And the world was introduced to Armie Hammer and especially Rooney Mara, the quintessential one-scene wonder who catapulted to an unforgettable portrayal as Lisbeth Salander in Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
But what may make this Fincher’s finest achievement, is that he did the seemingly impossible. He took an Aaron Sorkin masterclass that elevated an underwhelming concept and made it unquestionably his. Sorkin is one of the most recognisable voices in the world of modern screenwriting, as distinctive as Tarantino, Richard Curtis or Joss Whedon, one who revolutionised exposition and dialogue in terms of pacing, movement and blocking. With his mastery of the written word, Sorkin is a mountainous presence who dominates his work, but Fincher’s fearless perfectionism gives Sorkin’s dialogue a slightly crueller, caustic tone that changes the entire context of the movie.
Beyond all that, The Social Network is the sort of movie that suggests a dated aspect of life, with the idea of Facebook surely being passe (there is a reason a movie that MySpace or Bebo has never been considered for a movie), but Fincher and Sorkin combine to paint a timeless classic. Focusing on the age-old tropes of friendship, betrayal and greed, The Social Network transcends a story focused on a rare collection of Harvard graduates who were involved in the creation of a social media revolution and becomes a tale of loss, regret and legacy. The Social Network raises the question of the sacrifices people are willing to make to make their impact upon history and evokes a connection in its viewers by making it feel so familiar and known. In essence, Fincher took the words of the screenwriting god Aaron Sorkin, and crafted an all-too human story.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Chosen by Alex G: Twitter | BoltonFM Film on Sunday
‘Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.’
Fincher has directed more than some classic movies, but the quote above is what draws me back to this film in particular. The screenplay, David Fincher’s direction, the performances of the stellar cast, and the score all come together to rustle up something quite special.
To strip it back, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is a love story of which i’m an absolute stickler for. The thing that this film has that some of its comparable predecessors, like The Notebook and Titanic, do not, is the perspective in which the story is told. Benjamin and Daisy meet when they are the same age, albeit Benjamin was an old man and Daisy was a little girl. The two of them being on opposite paths, and passing each other only for the roles to be reversed makes their relationship all the more heartbreaking, and ultimately what got me so invested.
With its two hours and forty-five minute run time you wouldn’t think The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. But, Eric Roth’s adaptation is rich with meaning and passion, and David Fincher injects his signature style into the piece getting out some career defining performances from Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett both of whom I have a deep admiration for.
One of the things I love about this as with a lot of Fincher’s movies is his attention to detail. Whether it be a majestic golden train station clock, a tattered old diary, or a hummingbird, everything is there for a reason, not one thing is meaningless.
Finally, I can’t think of something that has made me question mortality quite like this. The tagline for the film is “Life isn’t measured in minutes, it’s measured in moments” The sentiment is a thread throughout the whole film, and it’s as true for us as it is for them!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Also chosen by Nguyen Le: Twitter | Portfolio
In 2008, David Fincher made a film that was not a dark and potentially horrific thriller. It disrupted a streak. It flipped some filmgoers’ world. It was more shocking than when Steven Spielberg made a cute airport drama. It interested me.
There is merit in thinking that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, loosely based on the eponymous short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the director’s lesser effort. A warm and melancholic narrative told by a visualist who has earned his credentials from handling twisted and criminal material? That’s asking the swordsmith to do the glassmith’s work. For sure, oddities will show.
One among those is how Fincher could still bewitch as if there is a mystery to solve. There is none in the life of Benjamin (Brad Pitt, mainly), whose curious case of aging backwards is — like the greatness of fellow Fitzgeraldian Jay Gatsby — a purposeful distraction, but the precise, steady and gorgeous filmmaking methods from prior films are here (preference for subtle CGI being the most pronounced). No chills here, just sparks. A walk toward the glow, not a dash from wickedness. Benjamin changes his footing (New Orleans, Murmansk, New York, Paris and India), his mentor (Jared Harris’ Captain Mike and his seafaring ways, or Jason Flemyng’s Thomas and the need for redemption) and his love (from son to mama with Taraji P. Henson’s Queenie, between forlorn hearts with Tilda Swinton’s Elizabeth and as kismet intended with Cate Blanchett’s Daisy), but what he has made a permanent resident is embracability. Every frame is a hug, at the least a comforting gesture, that intensifies upon looking back.
And I’ve been doing that pretty often during the pandemic. Not necessarily looking back and remembering bits of the film, with its earthy tones and luxurious melodies, just looking back. It’s a particular tonic during these cruel times, Benjamin Button-ing my way through moments and faces, so that I can find serenity. So that I don’t stay mad as a mad dog. So that if the end is near I’d know to revisit the lovely beginnings, however many there are.
In retrospect, Benjamin Button has been Fincher practicing for the forthcoming Mank, which sees him circling back to his late father’s script. With that in mind, what interested me then is still interesting today — the most offbeat entry in the filmography of one of today’s finest creatives.
Panic Room (2002)
Chosen by Jake Godfrey: Twitter
If there is one sub-genre of film I love more than any other, it’s the single location thriller. From Phone Booth to Buried, these stories are always able to burrow straight to the nerve of what scares us. This trauma of being trapped in a terrifying situation is perfectly executed in David Koepp’s script for Panic Room, which wastes no time in setting up the various obstacles that Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart will have to endure and overcome, not least the primal fear of a child in jeopardy. What I really enjoyed about Panic Room though is the way it deals with its villains. They aren’t cardboard cut-outs and each is given their own specific reasons for committing the crime. Dwight Yoakam is deliciously evil and the perfect counterpoint to Jared Leto’s excitable extrovert and Forest Whitaker’s quietly conflicted character.
Fincher wrings every possible beat of tension from the premise, using his camera to glide through the magnificence of the mansion so that when the plot really kicks into gear there is the added irony of being trapped in such a tiny portion of such a palatial property. I also like how little time Koepp has for stereotypes in his characters. Stewart is a terrific as a twelve-year old who is just as quick thinking as her mother and takes an equal share in driving the narrative. Take for example the scene where the thieves try to drive them out with gas. While Foster frantically tapes the vent, Stewart notices the tiny pipe in the wall that leads to fresh air. It is this realism that sets Panic Room apart from its contemporaries, as Koepp and Fincher refuse to bow to any leaps of logic or stretch credulity any further than is absolutely necessary aside, perhaps, from the ending. But by that point I was so invested in the characters and their plight that I could forgive a smattering of Hollywood gloss.
Chosen by Brian Skutle: Twitter | Sonic Cinema Website
Not too many people can probably say their favorite David Fincher film is one they fell asleep in the first two times they watched it. That was the case with me with Zodiac, though it had less to do with the film itself and more to do with the health issues that would hospitalize me later in 2007. Even a partial viewing of Fincher’s methodical, precise thriller about the Zodiac killings in the early 1970s shows the filmmaker’s sharp-witted storytelling at its peak, as he transforms this serial killer narrative into the police procedural equivalent of All the President’s Men, with a healthy dose of JFK paranoia in there for good measure. This isn’t just another Se7en for Fincher, but a film that points forward to his meticulous craftsmanship on The Social Network, Gone Girl and, from what we’ve seen, Mank. It’s a turning point for the director.
One thing I noticed in revisiting the film recently was the voice of the man calling in the shooting that opens the film. Maybe it’s because I had also just seen him in Face/Off the night before, but the voice sounds an awful like John Carroll Lynch, the actor who plays Arthur Leigh Allen, whom the film- and the book it is adapting- frames as the likeliest suspect to be the Zodiac killer. It’s not the first time Fincher is putting his killer out in plain sight before a later reveal through his voice (Se7en does similarly with Kevin Spacey’s John Doe), and it’s hard to imagine Fincher doing something like that without purpose, including having the killer in the second Zodiac scene’s voice being less obviously Lynch’s. In his approach, he is giving us the clues out in the open for us to decipher the truth for ourselves, much like Zodiac seemed to do for Robert Greysmith, Dave Toschi and everyone else who found themselves immersed in the case for about a decade, while also doing just enough to sow doubt. In Zodiac, a similar sounding voice can be just as misleading, or revealing, as handwriting was to the actual case.
Zodiac has so many individual sequences that stand out it is an embarrassment of riches. Both the early attacks of Zodiac’s, in particular the daytime stabbing, are as brutal and unforgiving as the violence in Fight Club. Watching Greysmith and Toschi get drawn further down the Zodiac rabbit hole to where it becomes an obsession that threatens both of their lives is as riveting as seeing Mark Zuckerberg build a social media empire in The Social Network. And a late sequence in a basement where Greysmith is looking for clues is one of the most nerve-wracking scenes any director has put together, because by that point, Greysmith’s obsession is our obsession, and all of the clues have led him to a place he probably shouldn’t have gone. Not long afterwards, though, the final puzzle piece is found, and it releases the tension into a scene where all the pieces are in place, and all that’s left is for two people to look at the face of one man, and just know the truth that was staring us in the face the whole time.
Also chosen by Chris Holt: Twitter | The Lunch Hour Geek Out Podcast
David Fincher’s Zodiac got unfairly ignored when it was released in the spring of 2007. It was a curious time to release a near three-hour dissection of a true-life crime tale. It was too late for the previous awards season and too soon for the next cycle. As a result, Zodiac really did not find its feet as the classic film it is for quite a while.
Fincher has always dealt really well with the telling of a mystery. From the descent into hell of Seven (1995) to the bored rich fantasy of The Game (1997) and then the more recent gaslighting epic Gone Girl (2014). With Zodiac, Fincher is dealing with a mystery that has no conclusion, no reveal, no shocking twist. Reality is often stranger and more compelling than fiction and here Fincher wisely lets the facts and the figures speak for themselves as the mystery and thirst for an answer consumes those closest to it. Real-life events rarely come with a shocking final act twist or sudden epiphany, and this is the story of the Zodiac killer.
Fincher gets career-best performances from the trio at the heart of the story. Robert Downey Jr. one year before Iron Man shows the bruised heart at the centre of 60’s refugee journalist Paul Avery and makes him both arrogant and enormously likeable. Mark Ruffalo who would also become part of the MCU was at an underrated point in his career and gets the mannerisms and quirks of real-life detective Dave Toschi spot on whilst bringing his own weary, rumpled charm to the part. Finally, at the centre of all this is Jake Gyllenhaal as the cartoonist turned author Robert Graysmith. Gyllenhaal uses his innate strangeness employed so well in Donnie Darko and becomes the obsessed centre of the whole saga as he alienates almost everyone in his pursuit of the truth. This central trio is backed up by brilliant turns from the likes of Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Chloe Sevigny and John Carroll Lynch.
Zodiac may not have the flash, the narrative fireworks or gloss of David Fincher’s other work, but it is the one that has lived on in my mind regardless.There is a level realism, and a series of lessons in this that I think is lacking in most Hollywood thrillers, and It is for these reasons that I consider Zodiac to be David Fincher’s best film.
Gone Girl (2014)
Chosen by Athina: Twitter | Black Pistachio Website
Gone Girl was a hugely successful book by Gillian Flynn that came out in 2012. Two years later we would be gifted the cinematic version directed by David Fincher with Gillian Flynn as screenwriter. What they create is an unflinching and visceral portrayal of a marriage gone bad. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike play our troubled couple. Through their opposing points of view Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne both work hard to convince us of their own victimhood. Nick comes home to find his front door open and his wife missing. What follows is a furious manhunt to find his perfect devoted wife.
From the beginning we get a strong sense that Nick is not entirely devoted to his wife. His behaviour and reaction to her disappearance is lacklustre and considered abnormal. He is far more passionate when dealing with his ailing father who absconds from the local nursing home. There is a distinct lack of colour and warmth throughout Gone Girl which leaves the viewer feeling deflated and flat – much like Nick and Amy’s marriage.
For the first two years they are hot and heavy. Their marriage is full of passion and they playfully poke fun at other ‘failing’ couples. Matching 2000 thread count cotton sheets are strong symbols for a marriage that is destined for future bliss. However, material gifts and secret codes soon lose all meaning when we realise that Nick is the stereotypical disappointing husband. By the five year mark life has sucked all the fun and passion out of their marriage. Financial troubles, a recession and subsequent bereavement leave Nick and Amy struggling and alienated from one another.
At 2 hours and 29 minutes, Gone Girl is quite a long film but this time is needed in order to get a thorough character study and to understand what is at the root of their marital discord. Ben Affleck plays the aimless and emasculated Nick Dunne well. In the beginning we are led to believe that the breakdown of their marriage lies solely at his feet. But it’s not until we get Amy’s point of view that we realise the failure of their marriage is not as clear cut.
Gone Girl acts as cinematic gasoline for the scorned woman trope. Amy is no victim. Amy is not only intelligent but fiercely pragmatic and that pragmatism reaches its peak with her dressed in all white. Rosamund Pike gives a convincing and relatable monologue that any woman can relate to if they have ever pretended to be something they’re not in order to save and sustain their relationship. The ending to Gone Girl as a novel was controversial and either loved or loathed by readers across the globe. However, as a film, the ending is devastating in its finality and ruthlessness.
What did you make of our choices? Are you surprised that nobody picked Se7en as their favourite film from Fincher’s filmography? What would you have written about? Let me know in the comments section below, and make sure to give some love to those who took part in this edition.