Gone-Girl-poster-3Oh, it’s long, girl. And this movie takes a hard right turn about halfway through that will test your tolerance for tonal shift. And then it does it once again. And then again. What begins as a straightforward, engrossing (murder?) mystery is replaced by the complete absence of mystery and ends up in Fatal Attraction territory without that satisfying bullet between Glenn Close’s eyes. David Fincher brings his usual cool authority with a major exception: the shrill, cartoonish portrayal of the media clashes with the realistic, restrained performances by… well, everybody. The casting is exceptional, never more so than the attention paid to the smaller roles. Tyler Perry may be the worst (if richest) director in America, but he nails his part as a high-powered defense lawyer. Even better is Patrick Fugit as the junior detective. This clever actor gets nowhere near the parts he deserves, and think how long it’s been since ALMOST FAMOUS. Also worth a nod: Kim Dickens as the lead detective, wry and blunt, reminds me a little of Kate Mara, direct and tough. (After a big rift between her and Ben Affleck, they get back on track. Ben says to her, “So we’re pals again?”, and she answers, “Yeah, now that I know you didn’t murder your wife.” You have to see and hear it, but the line reading is spot on.) The movie’s leisurely pace works fine as long as we’re kept in the dark and as the clues slowly pile up. But after that jolt mentioned at the top, it’s like, ok, let’s pick up the pace. At 2 hours and 25 minutes, I was gone, girl, before the credits finished rolling. — Jeff Schultz


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