When you’re the daughter of two opera singers, and spent your childhood observing your parents onstage in classic melodramatic fair, it’s safe to assume that you know how drama and suspense work. Actress Rosamund Pike is the aforementioned daughter of two opera singers, and it seems as if her flair for the dramatic has helped her with her latest project, Gone Girl. Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel of the same name, the movie is just as suspenseful as the book. Not only that, but Pike’s performance as the complex Amy Dunne is astonishing to watch. Nominated this year for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role, Rosamund Pike gives a performance few actors would be able to achieve. Amy’s nuances and complexities are accompanied by the fact that viewers never really know which aspects of her personality are truthful. British-born Pike, plays New York native, and Missouri transplant Amy Dunne to a tee. Without giving away major plot points, I will say, that she plays all the layers so perfectly that for the time being, it’s hard for me to not vote for her for the SAG Awards. She legitimately plays an honest-to-goodness sociopath, and it’s fascinating to watch her transformation. Director David Fincher has always been one of my favorites, and he doesn’t disappoint. However, with both Flynn’s novel and her screenplay (which she adapted herself), I will ask her this: What’s up with that ending?
Want to know more? Gone Girl is currently available On Demand, Amazon Prime, and also stars Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris. Gillian Flynn’s novel is available both online, and at your local bookstore.
Ever since the birth of drama, actors have worn costumes. In Shakespeare’s day, men dressed in drag and played women. Today, Superman vs. Batman director, Zach Snyder, released the first photo of actor Ben Affleck donning the famous bat suit. Lots of actors have played Batman. Most recently, Christian Bale played the dark knight in the Christopher Nolan films. George Clooney played the caped crusader in the now infamous box-office bomb Batman & Robin. Clooney was also famous for pointing out that the costume for his version had nipples on it. Former heartthrobs Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton also tried to save Gotham City from disaster. So, what makes Ben Affleck so different? Why are people freaking out? Is it is his famous Boston accent? Is it that Affleck playing the famous comic book hero can make a great hashtag? #Batffleck
I have a theory. In theater, when a play is originated, it has the actors who created those roles. Oftentimes, they are so iconic that it is unfathomable that other actors could do the role justice. Take Marlon Brando in Tennessee Willilams’ A Streetcar Named Desire for example. Brando took the role which he originated in Stanley Kowalski, and brought him to the big screen. Since it premiered in 1947, dozens of actors have portrayed Brando’s iconic role on stage ( i.e. Gary Sinise, Aidan Quinn, Blair Underwood, & John C. Riley) and film (Treat Williams in 1984 and Alec Baldwin in 1995 made for TV adaptations.) However, the only actor that has become synonymous with the famous “STELLA!!” line has been Brando. All of the other actors could have done damn fine jobs in the role, but it was overshadowed by one performance.
In the case of the Batman character and its portrayal on film, I think it comes down to one key point at the present moment. The current cinematic landscape has recently become over-saturated with the character–and not just Batman, Spider-man and Superman as well. Many actors have played those roles on film. There have been SO many versions, sequels and “reboots” that I think as an audience, we’re getting a little sick of the same thing over and over. Unlike the theater, where people are used to seeing different actors play the same roles in various productions, film forever encapsulates a particular character. This might make it hard for an audience to believe several different actors playing the same character. It’s been done time and time again, and it’s not all bad; it does beg the question as to whether or not so many adaptations are needed so soon after each other. Granted, they are money-makers, but I think we are sacrificing quality of the work for quantity of sales and box-office. But who knows? Batffleck’s portrayal might be the best one yet. We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, he’s just an actor wearing a costume. Oh, Did you see those biceps? Good work Ben Affleck. Good work.
Hollywood loves Boston. 2007’s Best Picture winner was The Departed, after all. The cops were tough and didn’t take any crap from anybody. During this past week, I have been visiting my parents in the Boston in suburb which I grew up. Never in a million years would I have thought that two bombings, 4 deaths, nearly 200 injuries, and massive manhunt would happen over the course of the week. It’s only a matter of time before Person of Interest, CSI, or even Boston native, Ben Affleck,condense these events into some sort of Hollywood epic.
However, there is a time and a place for everything. Honestly, it’s going to take time for healing to happen; both for the victims who lost their limbs and those who witnessed the horrific events. Even when we were stuck in our homes yesterday, with our eyes glued to various local news stations, it seemed like an out-of-body experience. It was as if we were watching something unfold as part of movies like this year’s Argo, or Ben Affleck’s other directorial effort, The Town. In fact, having SWAT teams and police officers go door to door in Watertown seemed as if it could have only been written by someone in Hollywood. It was as if Ed Harris’ character from The Truman Show were real and someone behind the scenes was calling the shots.
As we digest the past few days, and go forward into the next few weeks and months, we have to remember that this was in fact, real. Real lives were lost, real people became heroes. That’s one thing that Hollywood can’t duplicate. They will never be able to recreate the spirit of Boston residents, the sheer panic that we felt when it was happening, or the relief that we felt when it was all over . Some situations are best left alone and not tampered with by Hollywood. Allow us time to heal, grieve and yes, even be wicked pissed off that these horrific events have happened on our home turf. I may have moved to New York City six years ago, but my heart and my family are all in Boston. I will ALWAYS be a Boston gal. ALWAYS. BOSTON STRONG FOREVER.