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Some thoughts…

‘Gone Girl’ (David Fincher, 2014) 

David Fincher is as good as the material he’s given. Luckily Gillian Flynn’s novel is super-junk, great trash storytelling. Like Steven Spielberg over the past twenty years, mid-era Fincher has gathered a tight little band of collaborators. There’s been a new Fincher on display since The Social Network, stylistically restrained and content to allow the scripts do the talking, directorial tics taking a backseat to elegant composition, good actors and that same backing band to provide those tight cuts, clean shots and textured soundscape. What should be a minor-entry in the canon, a bill-paying studio job between the real work (a la Dragon Tattoo), is elevated to high-sleaze pop art of the most satisfying breed. The cast are sprinters at the start of a hundred-metre race, wound up and ready to go, each fighting to outdo the next as Fincher chases them with bullets from his starting gun. Stupendously, gloriously pleasurable stuff.

I’ve also watched some other random shit, some of which I’ll babble about more at the end of the year:

A Walk Among the Tombstones was another notch on the bedpost of Liam Neeson’s post-Taken career shift of which I’m such an enthusiastic supporter. Completely forgettable autumnal nonsense, but Scott Frank’s a decent enough filmmaker and just about keeps it from drifting into dodgy DTV territory.

Bad Neighbours was a sorta funny, watchable, throwaway frat comedy. I’m sure it played well to the friday-night crowds over the summer with a short runtime, adequate set-up and likeable leads. It’s hard to get overly excited about this kind of thing. Laughed a few times.

Frank was a terrific treatise on the intersection between mental illness and the creative process with an unbearably sad Jon Ronson script. Fassbender and the full fake band are great and hilarious. Domhnall Gleeson finally rises up to the lofty standards of his father.

Of Gleeson Snr, Calvary is likely a top-five finisher when I compile my favourites of the year. John Michael McDonagh’s film about the last week in the life of a priest in an Irish coastal village is small, but almost perfectly formed and hasn’t left my thoughts since.

I also re-watched most of The Descendants the other night which remains an impressive, emotional entry for Alexander Payne with the best performance George Clooney’s likely to give. Love that Hawaiian scenery.

Oh, and the announcement of Twin Peaks returning for that long-awaited third series in 2016 is pretty much the highlight of my autumn.

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