Gone Girl to Open the New York Film Festival

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Variety is reporting that David Fincher’s highly-anticipated thriller Gone Girl will open the New York Film Festival on September 26.  By this time, Telluride will have happened and the picture for Best Picture will be a little more clear.  Gone Girl is based on the bestselling (still bestselling) novel by Gillian Flynn and has been adapted for the screen by Flynn herself.  So far, she is the only woman entering this year’s Oscar race as the sole screenwriter.  Since the story is filtered through the perceptions of its two unreliable narrators, the trick for the very visual Fincher is to put all that twisted internal psychology up on screen. Audiences at the NYFCC sometimes tend to approach movies from the wrong angle, as they did with both Life of Pi and Hugo — two films that received the brunt of over-zealous analysis. A lot of faulty perceptions were reversed after more critics and industry people saw the films. It’s important to take that first festival reaction — or any first reaction anywhere to any movie — with a grain of salt. I always do, until I see the film for myself.  If the Manhattan premiere of Les Miserables taught us anything, it was not to trust opening-night emotions — although the film did go on to win three Oscars, more than Lincoln, as many as Argo. So go perhaps that standing ovation the afternoon Les Mis debuted did manage to push the film farther than it would have ordinarily gone has there not been that rapturous first response.

“Gone Girl” opens nationwide on Oct. 3.

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26 Comments on this Post

  1. Ángel Ramos

    Les Miserables only won 3 oscars: Best Supporting Actress, Make Up and Sound Mixing

  2. Al Robinson

    COOL!!!! The last time Fincher opened a movie a festival was with The Social Network at the New York Film Festival. That one turned out the best movie of the year, so cheers to him for doing it again!! I HOPE HOPE HOPE it’s as good. :-)

    I wish I could be there for that. :-)

  3. Al Robinson

    Sasha, do you think that David Fincher tries to get nominated for Oscars?
    I know this seems like a strange question, but he makes films that seem so un-mainstreem, so dark, that it’s hard to imagine to thinks of Oscars when he’s making his films. I think possibly the only two movies he’s made that seem like he was trying to get involved in the Best Picture race was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. I’m not even sure he was with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  4. Sasha Stone

    Oh thanks Angel!

  5. Sasha Stone

    Al, no I don’t think Fincher makes movies to win Oscars. I think he’s an artist who makes films he’s interesting in making. The Oscars are a peer award, a popularity contest mostly, or a high school prom. It’s a tricky game to want approval from that crowd, if you know what I mean. The Oscars would be better off if they awarded directors like Fincher…

  6. Al Robinson

    Yeah, IF ONLY it wasn’t a popularity contest. I agree completelly I think the Oscars would be better off if director’s like Kubrick, Scorsese, and Fincher got more love. They made some of the most memorable movies of all-time. But, still, isn’t it funny we think of things like the Oscars year-round?. :-)

  7. Al Robinson

    For instance, can you imagine it this was 2001’s Best Picture lineup:

    Amélie (2001) – Jean-Pierre Jeunet
    And Your Mother Too (2001) – Alfonso Cuarón
    Memento (2001) – Christopher Nolan
    Mulholland Drive (2001) – David Lynch
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Peter Jackson

    WOW!

  8. Of all the great reasons to make movies, Making Movies to Win Oscars is about 20x more grotesque than Making Movies to Make Money.

    Compared to the desire and ambition to create great art or fun entertainment, making movies just for the money or just to win Oscars are terribly shady reasons to make movies.

    That said, I can easily understand the mentality of people who might really enjoy huge sums of money (or even small sums of money) who figure making movies is one of the most exciting and fulfilling ways to get outrageously rich (or even moderately comfortable). But I would feel pretty sorry for anyone who chooses a career in movies because they crave an Oscar.

    Who makes movies to win Oscars? Whoever they are, I don’t respect them.

    Winning an Oscar is nothing but icing on the cake. The least nutritious and most unhealthy part of the cake.

  9. Al Robinson

    Then that’s probably the reason why Fincher’s films are SO GREAT. Ha ha. :-)

    Fincher doesn’t give a shit, and as I think happened, neither did Scorsese.

  10. Being chosen to open the New York Film Festival is a big, big deal. The NYFF peeps are as sharp as can be, and this film must be very, very good. I know the new admin, and she’s a VERY smart woman. She’s been on my show and I liked her a lot. So whatever this film needs to have, it seems to have it. I’m delighted! Can’t wait to see it! And Rosamond Pike is a terrrrrific actress. I’ve interviewed her, too, and was impressed by how smart she was, and also funny. She had depth. You wouldn’t think someone
    classically beautiful as she would be all that. But she is. She’s the complete package. Sounds like Fincher made all the right choices. And yes, I don’t think he cares a jot about winning Oscars.

    I saw “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” again, the American version, HIS version and was completely captivated all over again. It’s a best seller. The public likes it. Only VERY quick release date worries me a bit. You’d think they’d want to hold it back a bit. It could, like many films, peak too early.

  11. Al Robinson

    Stephen, you know, I’d be worried about that too, if it wasn’t for what we saw last year with Gravity (October 4), and 12 Years a Slave (October 18). Those two were still the main 2 at the Oscars in March.

    But, perhaps last year was an anomaly.

  12. Cameron

    Who the fuck cares who writes the movie, it’s a good writer or it isn’t; who gives a shit what the gender is

  13. Who the fuck cares who writes the movie, it’s a good writer or it isn’t; who gives a shit what the gender is

    Here’s the most important reason to give a shit, Cameron. We already know Gillian Flynn is a smart writer. That’s evident from her novel. Now a smart writer has written a smart screenplay. A smart writer of a smart screenplay has a shot at an Oscar nomination. Oscar nominees have a good shot at being invited to become a member of the Academy. Agree with me so far?

    The Academy is 77% male, 23% female. Are you happy about that? I’m not.

    But we can’t just fix the ratio by inviting the first 3000 women we meet on the street. Imagine the howls. We can’t right the balance by inviting women to join the Academy who are less qualified than men. Imagine the sneers.

    No. We can only have a smart well-balanced Academy by inviting new members of both sexes who are smart and qualified. Still with me?

    Here’s Sasha being happy that we probably have a new candidate for Academy membership who’s a smart female writer. Here’s you not giving a shit.

    You’re thinking only about the individual movie in front of you. Sasha is thinking about the bigger picture. You’re right that the gender of a writer has nothing to do with the quality of a screenplay. We all know that. But Sasha is looking for a larger meaning, and she’s found it.

    Maybe now that I’ve spelled it out, you can see the larger meaning too.

    Show me a person who doesn’t give a shit whether or not smart women are being given opportunities in Hollywood and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t give a shit about the gender imbalance in the Academy membership. Are you one of those people? I don’t think you are.

    Every time there’s an outstanding female director or female writer, we’re going to take note of the fact that it’s a woman. It’s worth noting because it’s a rare thing. Women in the directors branch and writers branch of the Academy are almost are scarce as dolphins in the directors and writers branches. It would be crazy not to mention that a dolphin wrote the screenplay for Finding Nemo, wouldn’t it? We’d be negligent NOT to mention it. Around here we think it’s crazy not to mention the rare occasions when women get a chance to be nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay.

  14. Bob Burns

    We’re hoping she will receive due recognition despite the historic, demonstrable prejudice against female writers within the mens club that is the film industry. So, yes, I “the fuck care”.

  15. @Sasha

    Fincher seems like the perfect director to translate the psychology of Gone Girl onto the screen, no? I think people also underestimated how tricky adapting The Accidental Billionaires must have been – both for Sorkin as the writer, and Fincher as the director.

    And on the Les Miserables point, I don’t think how many Oscars it won in any way reflects how “good” it was in comparison to the other movies that year. It did have the technical categories on it’s side. But you know this already.

    {Oh no, I am going to digress: Does The Social Network get better the more times you watch it? The answer is yes. It was on TV here in the UK a couple of weeks ago, and even after that first scene I gasped a little bit and said to the wife “That is one of the most perfectly written opening scenes of the last twenty years. You could not cut a single second of it.” Not sure if she was listening though.}

    @Al Robinson

    On David Fincher trying to get nominated for Oscars. I can see why people think The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was gunning for Oscars, I mean, it ticks all the right boxes and is probably his least Finchian effort {sorry}. But he was not making it for an Oscar. And he definitely was not with The Social Network – how dare you Al? :-D

    @Cameron

    I may be stating the obvious here, but I think a hell of a lot of people give a fuck about the demographics of cinema. I suspect a lot less people give a fuck about bewildered comments on a site where you’re in the wrong place if you think women’s role in cinema won’t be discussed.

  16. Bryce Forestieri

    I still would have loved had they gone with the slightly less edgy variation of the title, GONE GAL I saw the trailer on the big screen before APES and Affleck blew me away, he’s even good looking again, kind of.

  17. Bryce Forestieri
  18. thanks very much, Bryce!
    (new posting format makes it hard to thank you guys for tips on the main page)

  19. Al Robinson

    “On David Fincher trying to get nominated for Oscars. I can see why people think The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was gunning for Oscars, I mean, it ticks all the right boxes and is probably his least Finchian effort {sorry}. But he was not making it for an Oscar. And he definitely was not with The Social Network – how dare you Al? :-D”

    Robin Write, ah, touche! :-)

    To everyone:
    I have a feeling if I had the luxury of interviewing Fincher for Gone Girl, and I asked him if he made Gone Girl in hopes of getting an Oscar, I’m sure he would immediately end the interview.
    For the record, I’m very glad Fincher doesn’t make movies in hopes of getting Oscars. I don’t associate him with them, but since this is an awards site, I had to at least bring it up. :-)

  20. I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand what was so important by saying Flynn was the sole female writer in the Oscar race as I, too, try to pay less attention to gender. Then again I was not looking at the bigger picture as so many have pointed out with great responses. I didn’t have a “who the fuck cares” mentality, just a, “Meh ok” because certain things I try to remain indifferent about so I can view the movie with as little bias as possible. But I get where everyone else is coming from and seeing Flynn’s name as an AMPAS invitee would be great.

  21. I’m very glad Fincher doesn’t make movies in hopes of getting Oscars. I don’t associate him with them, but since this is an awards site

    There are other awards, other honors, above and beyond the Oscars.

    Besides, it’s possible (and quite common) for filmmakers not to be craven Oscar-hungry trophy-chasers and still deserve an Oscar.

    The Oscars shouldn’t be any filmmakers primary goal, and if it is they need to see a shrink. Talking up the possibility of an Oscar for worthy recipients is what Oscar campaigns and awards-coverage writers do. Filmmakers do the work, they make the art. That’s all they need to do. That’s all I want from them. Think how gross it would be to see an author “trying to win a Nobel prize” for literature.

  22. Al Robinson

    “I’m very glad Fincher doesn’t make movies in hopes of getting Oscars. I don’t associate him with them, but since this is an awards site”
    Yeah, as I was writing that sentense I was thinking about how Fincher doesn’t have films debut at the Cannes Film Festival, and I wonder how they would be received there. I think it would have been cool to say: Gone Girl, winner of the Palme D’Or.

    “There are other awards, other honors, above and beyond the Oscars.”
    Yes, you’re right Ryan, there are more awards in the year than just Oscars. But if a favorite movie was going to win one, I’d prefer it be an Oscar than a Golden Globe or a Critics’ Choice. :-)

  23. Al Robinson

    “The Oscars shouldn’t be any filmmakers primary goal, and if it is they need to see a shrink. Talking up the possibility of an Oscar for worthy recipients is what Oscar campaigns and awards-coverage writers do. Filmmakers do the work, they make the art. That’s all they need to do. That’s all I want from them. Think how gross it would be to see an author “trying to win a Nobel prize” for literature.”

    Can’t argue with that, nor would I want to, because I agree with that sentiment.

  24. I agree too, Al and Ryan. I didn’t think of it that way until I imagined…”What if a photographer was covering a conflict or a war and they were had a Pulitzer Prize on their mind while taking pictures?” That would mean they’re being selective in the pictures they’re taking and would not have the interest of the issue at hand.

  25. We would all like to see a better gender balance in the Academy, yes? And we’d like to see a range of diversity that better reflects the real world, yes? It’s irrational and really quite shameful that Hollywood and the Academy let the balance get so out of whack. I do think they’re making an effort in recent years to build a better balance. So I think we should show that we notice this effort and show that we appreciate it.

    But they can’t just fix the ratio overnight by calling up random numbers in Hollywood and inviting anyone to join the AMPAS who sounds like a girl on the phone :) They have to maintain the same standards of admission for every gender and color, and continue to invite people who have achieved a measure of success commensurate with the other members.

    So that’s not easy. Because women and people of color have not been given the same opportunities to prove their worthiness, right? That’s why we’re glad to see those opportunities open up and we’re especially glad whenever we see under-represented groups of people make good on the promise that they’re as good as any white guy. Of course we know they are, but an Academy invitation naturally requires that people demonstrate what they can do.

    Honestly I cannot understand how Russell Brand and Beyonce are Academy members, and (speaking for myself) I think it would be good if we could keep invitations like that to a minimum. But I’ll take it, because I think it’s important to have the opinions of more black women be counted in the mix when each year’s Oscar nominees are chosen.

    Another real-world example. Do we want 98% of the people who choose each year’s Oscar nominees for Best Director to be white men? I don’t. So how do we work toward fixing that? By inviting more black directors, and other directors who aren’t white. Obviously. So who does the Academy invite to join the director’s branch in 2009? Tyler Perry. OK, fine. I guess. But honestly, I’m not sure that did much lift the overall level of sophistication of the director’s branch.

    But last year was different situation. Steve McQueen was invited to join the Academy last June. And the way he got invited was by achieving a degree of acclaim that few black men have been allowed to attain in the film industry. So yes, it’s a big deal that he’s a black man.

    People can say that they don’t care about the skin color of the guy who directed 12 Years a Slave; all that matters is whether the movies is good or not. That attitude might look respectably color-blind. But it fails to take into account the larger issue: If we don’t have more black directors who get to direct major movies then we can’t diversify the industry and we can’t diversify the Academy. And if we don’t diversify the Academy we’ll continue to get clinkers like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close nominated for BP — and then we roll our eyes at Academy’s strange out-of-touch taste.

    The only way to raise the level of sophistication of the Oscars is to diversify the membership. And we can’t diversify the membership if we don’t push for people to rise in the ranks who aren’t 100% white guys. We can’t hold a gun to the heads of Hollywood execs to make them diversify, but we can support that effort by showing our appreciation whenever it happens. I think mentioning the gender of a female writer to show we’re glad to see her achievement is the least we can do. Agree?

    It’s weird to me that this would annoy anyone. (not you, Kane. I know you’re not annoyed).

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