The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
“I’m so much happier now that I’m dead. Technically missing. Soon to be presumed dead. Gone. And my lazy lying shitting oblivious husband will go to prison for my murder. Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That’s murder. Let the punishment fit the crime.”
Gone girl / dir.
David Fincher / 2014
It’s hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. But you know what? It is.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011, dir. David Fincher)
“The thing you need to understand about Gone Girl is that it’s a mirror. It opens in one place, then heads toward a center (Amy’s monologue about not actually being dead), then spirals back out toward the other side. The images that open and close the film are the same. And along the way, the film keeps visually rhyming itself, only with positions slightly shifted and power dynamics unbalanced in ways that keep the audience guessing. This is not a terribly new trick. Directors have always used visually similar compositions to trick our brains into drawing subconscious links between things, and Fincher is nothing if not an exacting composition artist. But the more you examine the film’s images, the more you realize something: in the first half of the story, Fincher is giving Nick much of the power, situating the story on him in many ways. And once Amy reveals her full plan, the film starts to shove Nick off to the side (literally in many cases), as his wife comes to occupy the center position in their universe. It starts as a story about a man, a good-hearted American lummox who made a few missteps, but it becomes a story about a woman. And the only way she can take it over is by being as vicious as possible. And how Fincher uses centered compositions in Gone Girl is part of what makes the film so feminist. As the rest of the movie plays out, more and more of Amy’s signature motifs begin to infect every frame of the film. Nick will briefly grab hold of the screen’s center now and again — like when he’s hired a lawyer and thinks he’s on top of things — but even in a scene when he’s asked by a newscaster to look directly at the camera and tell his wife what he wants to say to her, he can’t quite get back to the position where he would have the most power within the film’s visual narrative. The camera stops following him once he reaches center-screen. He is a man adrift, no longer the compass for us to look toward. And Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score — formerly stuck only in the fabricated flashbacks from Amy’s diary — begins to play throughout the rest of the film. This is Amy’s reality. Everybody else is just slowly starting to realize they live in it. You can even see this in the film’s use of brief nudity — it objectifies women on Nick’s side, but it objectifies men once we’re in Amy’s world. It’s worth pointing out that Amy doesn’t command the center nearly as often as she might like. She’s thrown off by a few flaws in her plan that leave her imprisoned by a former lover. But every time she launches a new scheme, every time she spins a new story, every time she tells a new lie, every time she gains more knowledge, she moves closer and closer to commanding that center entirely. She is turning the tricks of the movie against it. She is turning the lies of her husband against him. And she is taking back the center of the screen for women everywhere. She was made to be the supporting character in somebody else’s story, but now, she’s going to be the protagonist. She doesn’t care if you like it. The last time Nick occupies screen center is in a scene where he’s finally acquiesced to Amy’s plan, agreed to live with her and raise the child she conceived without even sleeping with him (thanks to an old sperm donation). She sits off to the side gratefully this time, because she’s annexed the whole damn movie, and she can afford to be gracious. And the last image we see? Amy’s face in close-up again. We’re on the other side of the mirror.”
— Todd VanDerWerff, Gone Girl is the most feminist mainstream movie in years (via wednesdaydreams)
On the very first night that we met, we walked by a bakery that was having their sugar delivered. And it was in the air, everywhere. A sugar storm. And before he kissed me… He leaned in… And did this. And guess what? He did the exact same thing with her.
he should have died for this