All Good Things (9/13/12)

All Good ThingsMovie Two Hundred Ten

All Good Things is the dramatized recount of an actual unsolved murder case.

Based on the real events leading up to the trial of Robert Durst, renamed David Marks (Ryan Gosling) for the film. David Marks is the son of a wealthy real estate mogul, Sanford Marks (Frank Langella) who meets and eventually weds a young middle class woman named Katie (Kirsten Dunst). David rejects his father’s business plans and the young couple move from New York to Vermont and start a little shop they name All Good Things. David’s father convinces him to move back to New York and get involved in the family business and David’s demeanor begins to change. Soon, Katie mysteriously disappears and David is suspected of murder.

I had never heard of All Good Things before browsing for Ryan Gosling movies on Netflix (yes, I’ll admit it). What drew me to All Good Things is the true nature of the film, and even though some “based on true event” movies can come off as hokey I thought much of All Good Things worked quite well. I was not familiar with the actual case so the story was all new to me, which I think helped sell some of the ideas that the film interjects supposedly based on new “evidence”. So, while the film is based on reality, it doesn’t hinge its own success on that realism.

As a die-hard Ryan Gosling fan, I was actually very pleased with his performance in All Good Things, which is not very surprising. What is surprising is Kirsten Dunst’s performance didn’t bore me and I would even go as far as saying this is one of her better performances ever. The film builds a great tension that literally starts as a calm love story and escalates to a thrilling climax. David’s progression from mostly normal to his break with reality is also handled well, though explanations for it are glossed over in the last act. Immediately after the film was over, I wanted to know more about the actual case and I consider that a sign of a good movie.

If All Good Things had merely been a fictional thriller, it would have been just OK but considering the story is largely based on truth, I think that adds to the allure of it. The film isn’t perfect and it does drag in spots, but the electrifying performances by Gosling and Dunst really captivated me. I’m not sure if All Good Things is a film I would choose to revisit any time soon, but it’s certainly a film I would recommend for anyone seeking a true crime thriller.

I give it 4 Ryan Gosling makes a surprisingly ugly woman out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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26 responses to “All Good Things (9/13/12)

  1. This is a film that I’ve been wanting to see for years Andy but I just can’t seem to get my hands on it. I’m not even sure if it’s been released at all in the UK. Like yourself, I’m a big fan of gosling and your “surprisingly ugly woman” rating of him I just can’t believe. The man’s an Adonis. ;-)

  2. Still a movie I have on my list to see. Great reivew though and can’t wait to see it. And I agree with your opinion on Drive. Thought it was a great movie and was worth many Oscar nominations. Between that and Blue Valentine, thought they were his best movies.

  3. I’ll look it up on Netflix Andy. For some reason Canada doesn’t get as good a selection as the U.S, Maybe with Gosling (CDN) in it I’ll find it. Heck just for that poster of him I’d move a mountain to see it :)

  4. I ‘m a big fan of true-life crime stories, so I’m going to have to check this out. You didn’t mention anything about Frank Langella. I’m a fan of his. Did you know that he is currently dating Babara Walters? I think he is 73 and she is 81.

  5. Pingback: My September Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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