This first shot of Amy (Rosamund Pike) in her early years goes by in mere seconds in the trailer for Gone Girl. But I could tell it contained much context so I took a screen cap of it. Here, you see Amy with bad hair smiling. To the left is an earlier shot of Amy playing the violin and then another to the right, of Amy on horseback. These are from a scrapbook it would appear. Packing so much information into a single shot that flies by is a brilliant stroke here. Amazing Amy was the perfect child, reared by two psychologist parents who wrote books about her they called Amazing Amy where the lead character saved the day, repeatedly teaching other imperfect kids how to do the right thing. She is the sum total of what today’s parents want their children to be, hope they will be, and order them up like designer clothing. It seems to me that this shot pretty much says it all. It’s brilliant.
The second shot shows faces up, hat down. There is less information here except how beautifully one shot can show a person’s state of mind. It reminds me of that shot in Strangers on a Train during the tennis match.