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Gone Girl (Film)

(45 Posts)
Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 00:55:54

Has anyone seen it? I saw it tonight... and trying to work out how I feel about it and wondered what other people's thoughts were (from a FWR perspective).

Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 01:43:52

An interesting piece here: (Link is to Time magazine).

time.com/3472314/gone-girl-movie-book-feminist-misogynist/

BOFster Sun 02-Nov-14 02:03:20

I loved the book and the movie. I disagree with the review you've linked only in its emphasis on the Cool Girl trope: I thought that the film really underplayed it, and it was far better explained in the book.

emotionsecho Sun 02-Nov-14 02:27:18

I loved the book and the film too, but think in the film Nick's character was given a nicer gloss than in the book and agree the Cool Girl trope was downplayed it would have been more effective if the film had shown more of Nick's bad behaviours. Also think the Desi character in the film wasn't explained enough, mind you that was some Lake House! Other than that I agree with the review.

PumpkinGordino Sun 02-Nov-14 05:21:16

I really struggled with both the book and the film and I still ambivalent about them. Though that article has crystallised some of my thoughts and I feel more positive about the storyline as a result. I do agree with BOF though that the film underplayed the cool girl stuff which was much more powerful in the book

messyisthenewtidy Sun 02-Nov-14 09:13:12

It's a headfuck that's for sure. I cheered when I read Amy's Cool Girl speech because it was so insightful but then sighed with disappointment when she was turned into a psychopath. Here comes another bunny boiler I thought.

As the article upthread points out, such a portrayal of a female character (which let's face it is an MRA's wet dream) wouldn't be a problem if women's characters in the media were as numerous and varied as men's, but they're not.

What's more she's not just a female character but a feminist one and feminists suffer even more in the way they're portrayed.

These are my musings after reading the book I hasten to add. I will watch the film if only for Rosamund Pike who is great.

Chandon Sun 02-Nov-14 09:16:28

I thought the "cool wife" stuff is what made the film thought provoking (in a minor way) and made it better than an ordinary psycho thriller.

Amethyst24 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:56:07

I loved the book and thought Gillian Flynn did an amazing job on the screenplay. I agree that some of the nuance was lost, and I wonder whether that's because the market of the book would be mostly women whereas the film's audience would be more equally split?

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 02-Nov-14 13:41:02

Hated the book. Obvious and predictable and both characters equally easy to dislike. Completely failing to see what is cool about the wife.

PetulaGordino Sun 02-Nov-14 13:48:46

It's a "cool girl" trope which is very well-described in the book but wasn't so strongly conveyed in the film. It's a descriptive term that she defines. I don't think you're supposed to see her as a "cool" woman to be aspired to as a wife

Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 16:01:24

I think one of the problems is that there are so few proper roles for women in Hollywood (beyond wife of x, gf of x etc etc) that each role has to be valued as being representative of womanhood. Therefore, the criticism of the Amy role is that is a poor representation. If you take that aspect away there are less problems. Amy shouldn't have to be representative of women and the story should stand on its own merits. It can't though, I acknowledge - and I worry that a lot of men would leave Gone Girl with some negative feelings towards women being reinforced.

Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 16:03:34

I also think that Amy was a terrific role and Pike was magnificent. Jessica Chastain is talking in today's papers about roles for women in Hollywood and I think we're seeing more and more films were the main character and story revolves around a woman and they aren't just there as general decoration.

Cocolepew Sun 02-Nov-14 16:21:06

There's spoilers in that link <misses point>

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 02-Nov-14 16:56:51

So any "strong" female character is supposed to be admired? I have not seen the film but I'm struggling to see what there was to admire in the character in the book.

Nor for that matter in the book. The set-up was glaringly obvious from early on.

Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 17:25:23

I'm not sure who or what you are responding to Phaedra. Could you explain again?

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 02-Nov-14 17:36:38

All of you basically that this scheming, manipulative women in an extremely obvious plot is somehow admirable.

I see no-one is bothered that the actor playing her is stunningly beautiful - so presumably that is a Hollywood cliché you're happy with too. It might have been marginally interesting had a less attractive actor been cast.

PetulaGordino Sun 02-Nov-14 17:41:40

no one has said she is admirable confused

everyone is talking about how problematic the scheming, manipulative woman trope is. that's what this thread is about

the "cool girl" thing is in teh book. we aren't supposed to think she is "cool" and admirable, it's completely different to that

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 02-Nov-14 17:45:02

The character is described in this thread as a "feminist" I find that depressing

Amethyst24 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:46:26

But I think it's clear that it's social pressures that have made Amy what she is. The saccharine "Amazing Amy" character; her fucked-up parents; the need to be a "cool girl"; the fact that when she stops being a cool girl Nick stops loving her. For me, that counterbalances the non-feminist unpleasantness of how she behaves.

Here's what Gillian Flynn said in an interview with the Guardian:

"To me, that puts a very, very small window on what feminism is," she responds. "Is it really only girl power, and you-go-girl, and empower yourself, and be the best you can be? For me, it's also the ability to have women who are bad characters … the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing. In literature, they can be dismissably bad – trampy, vampy, bitchy types – but there's still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad and selfish ... I don't write psycho bitches. The psycho bitch is just crazy – she has no motive, and so she's a dismissible person because of her psycho-bitchiness."

Writing on her website, she concedes that hers is "not a particularly flattering portrait of women, [but that's] fine by me. Isn't it time to acknowledge the ugly side? I've grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains."

PetulaGordino Sun 02-Nov-14 17:50:41

the interesting thing is that it is clear that rapists use rape myths when targeting their victim. and here is a woman also using stereotypes for her own ends

Damsili Sun 02-Nov-14 17:55:51

My problem with your position Phaedra is that you haven't seen the film and apparently discarded the book before you finished it. From what you're saying, your disgruntlement was because you decided early on how the book would represent Amy and, by extension, women. If you read above, I've suggested that a problem with analyzing the story objectively is that we're forced into doing it in a context where any female character is going to be representative of women because there are so few complicated female roles. It should be the case that there is room to depict manipulative and disturbed women without talking about women in general. You seem to have fallen into the very trap you're complaining about!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Nov-14 17:59:34

The problem I have with the book (and it's there in other Flynn books, too) is the idea of the woman who pretends to have been raped, not the cool girl thing at all.

The film and book both suggest that it doesn't matter how persuasive the forensic evidence, you can never be entirely sure a woman hasn't gone to huge and improbably lengths to pretend she's been raped to secure her own ends.

Chandon Sun 02-Nov-14 18:00:12

Ah Phaedral, you don't get why we think the "cool wife" issue is good.

I do NOT mean she is cool, or great.

I thought the rant from this character about being a "cool girlfriend" was good, she said something like being fed up with being "the cool wife, the wife who loves cheap lager and hanging with the lads, who loves stuffing her face with pizza and is not a diet bore, yet remains miraculously a size 6, who just loves giving blowjobs and is all round cool".

She rebels against this "cool wife" (ie ideal woman) image.

The "cool wife" has been discussed before this film on MN.

I don't mean to say the character is cool, after all she is a psycho murderer!

Don't know if I have clarified it?

PetulaGordino Sun 02-Nov-14 18:03:59

yy theoriginalsteamingnit that is my main problem with it. because when you think of the number of books that feature this (vezzie i think explored this on another thread) it seems to be higher than the reality in terms of proportion compared with rapists not being reported or convicted in literature, at least among those books that are popular and/or revered

also there seems to be a perception that falsifying rape is the worst thing a woman can do, the ultimate evil act

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Nov-14 18:06:39

The link above seems to take Amy's diary in the book as an actual narrative of what's supposed to have happened, whereas I think in the text we assume that quite probably Nick didn't go to a strip club! and Amy wasn't cool about him staying out etc.

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