Well, they definitely took a risk on this film! Whether or not it worked out is another story. There are some extremely strong moments, an amazing supporting cast and a hell of a performance from the star of the film Ryan Gosling, the film didn’t quite add up the way it needed to in order for the audience to feel any real of sense of satisfaction. My guess is Blue Valentine will be his Oscar winning film this year, not All Good Things, though he was the best thing in this.
- Director: Andrew Jarecki
- Writer: Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling
- Actors: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Wiig, Frank Langella, Lily Rabe, Philip Baker Hall, Michael Esper, Diane Venora, Nick Offerman
- Original Music by: Rob Simonsen
- Cinematography by: Michael Seresin
Inspired by true events surrounding the life of Robert Durst, All Good Things chronicles one of the most notorious missing person’s case in New York history. It’s a love story and murder mystery set against the backdrop of a New York real estate dynasty in the 1980s.
- Fearless: There are a number of fearless performances in this film, but none quite as strong as Gosling’s. Often times actors will go to a certain point knowing that because they have enough charisma audiences with forgive them/side with them/go with them. From beating and later killing his wife, dog and friend to his problems with interacting with people, Gosling is (in the most positive way possible) quite hate-able in this film. He doesn’t just play with the line but jumps off the cliff and gives an absolutely fearless performance that I imagine would scare off most well-known actors. Once again he’s proved he’s a real actors, not some movie star.
- Guest Appearances: The supporting cast that showed up for bit rolls is impressive. From Wigg to the attorney — they had an extremely strong cast which helped the film develop as a whole.
- Kirsten Dunst: This was one of her strongest roles yet with is impressive considering she had a LOT of extra work to do in order to fill in some of the holes in the script. Why is she obsessed with him? Why does she stay? Why does she confront a man she KNOWS will kill her? If she’s willing to give it all up, why not just leave him and give it all up? If she’s staying for the money we need to know that. She gave one hell of a performance but I was still left baffled by her character.
- Ryan Gosling in Drag: Despite the fact that while hiding out he randomly decides to disguise himself as a woman (which doesn’t work with the story), the seriousness in which he does it added some much needed disturbing humor to his character. That being said, if we really wanted to appear as a “real” women, he should have toned down the makeup — no woman I know runs in blue eyeshadow.
- Music: The start of this film is NOTHING like the end, the ONLY thing that helps hint at where the story is going is the music. The opening score sets a tone that the film loses and only gets back near the end. With such a divided piece it was nice to have such a coherent scores to help keep the audiences on track and guide them through the story even when the film didn’t.
- Ryan Gosling in Drag: If this was a part of the story they needed to tie it in sooner. In a way they did, but it was so hidden from us that we weren’t able to figure it out until the very end, which doesn’t really help the development of the story.
- Too Much: I get that this is based on a real story, and that in many ways some of the crazy things that happened where true. But when you bring a story to the big screen you have to figure out the best way to adapt it and they didn’t. They threw everything in the pot, which took away from the much needed details of the characters.
- Some un-realistic human responses: From Gosling’s character grabbing Dunst’s character by the hair and dragging her out of her own graduation party and NO one, not even her own brother chasing her or trying to protect her, to her staying with him — the way the characters acted didn’t seem real. The unrealistic actions worked for Gosling but not the characters around him. Now again, this may have been what ACTUALLY happened, but when telling a story in 90 minutes you have to make some changes for the big screen otherwise we get caught up in the snags and can’t appreciate the entire story.
- Multiple Films in One: And not in a good way. There are many different films within this one film that don’t entirely ever come together. This is an incredibly hard feat to pull off and sadly this film only moderating succeeds.
This is definitely an interesting, brave film, but it’s not entirely successful as a cinematic experience.
All Good Things in theaters December 3rd!