|Ben Affleck in "Gone Girl"|
Matt Mattingly and I saw “Gone Girl,” a wonderfully contrived suspense thriller with the added treat of a mordant Hitchcockian sense of humor.
The story dares to offer non-ordinary characters from the outset. The heroine’s parents used her as the model of an internationally famous children’s book character, Amazing Amy — not the kind of thing that happened to anyone you know. And we have Riddler-like clues embedded into the plot with ruthless logic, and surprises big and small arriving every few minutes like razor-filled Candygrams. The film also takes welcome shots at the harpies who pitch ratbag, emotion-whore tabloid TV, and the fickleness of a herd-like American viewing public stupid enough to thunder away in whatever direction their cynical media wranglers care to stampede them.
The 1973 film “The Last of Sheila,” written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins, springs to mind as another movie that offers a similar set of calculated puzzle-box delights.