Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Read my review of the Gone Girl book here.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
Wow! That movie did not disappoint. Overall, I think the adaptation did a great job of choosing the important characters and parts of the book and consolidating it into a manageable timeframe. It missed a few people and made Nick seem like a hero more than it should have, but otherwise I was very impressed! I broke my score into three parts that I consider to be important in book-to-movie adaptations: how true it was to the book, the casting choices, and how much I enjoyed watching it.
True to the Book
I think the movie did a great job of staying close to the book. It had the same sense of urgency and impending craziness that the book did! With every page in the book, I expected something crazy to happen at the next turn. The movie felt the absolute same way. The music in the background really played up the twists and turns, which was awesome. The did a wonderful job of consolidating the plot in a way that made sense and kept all of the important events. It felt incredibly fast-paced while being a very long movie at the same time. There were a few discrepancies that made Nick seem more likable in the movie than the book, though. Overall, I’m so glad that Gillian Flynn actually wrote the screenplay. I always think that’s the key to the movie staying close to the book. I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t read the book OR seen the movie, but I’m happy with the ending in some ways and still mad in others!
When I heard of Ben Affleck being cast as Nick, I couldn’t believe how perfect that was. He’s hot but looks like he’d be a complete asshole – exactly like Nick. He really had the attitude and mannerisms down pat… especially the creepy shit-eating grin at the press conference! I liked Rosamund Pike as Amy at first when I saw her. Appearance-wise, she was perfect. I think she did a good job of acting as Amy for the most part; she was pretty believable. One flaw was her voice. That sounds weird, but her voice was too low and sexy for me. I just didn’t think that fit with my image of Amy. Margo’s character, played by Carrie Coon, took getting used to for me. I totally pictured her as Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter’s sister on the show Dexter). Overall, Carrie did a really good job in the long run! The more I watched her, the more I enjoyed her acting. Neil Patrick Harris as Desi was perfect.
I really kind of sat on the edge of my seat throughout. The music coupled with the really fast pace certainly made this enjoyable. At some points, I would think HOW are they going to fit all of this craziness in?? I liked the actors and their portrayals for the most part, which definitely helped me enjoy the movie. I will admit that even though it was quick movie, it did feel really long.. and it was! I couldn’t believe I went in for a 5:10 showing and walked out of the theater at 8:00.
Have you seen Gone Girl yet? Did you read the book? How do you think it stacked up?