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Saturday, December 4, 2010

"All Good Things"


Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, The Notebook) takes a haunting turn as a New York real estate heir with a shady streak in All Good Things. Based on the real-life unsolved mystery of Robert Durst who's the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife Katherine (played by Kirsten Dunst) back in the early 1980s, the movie follows Durst (named David Marks in the movie) from his tragic childhood all the way to his later life in obscurity.


Much to the dismay of his tycoon father Sanford (played by Frank Langella), David meets and falls for a commoner and tries to start a humble life away from the family business in Vermont. But after his father pressured him to come back to the business and give Katherine a more glamorous lifestyle, David reluctantly returns to the Big Apple, where his demons begin to saunter out of the closet. His traumatic childhood has affected him more than he's willing to admit and his behavior becomes more disturbing, which begins to concern his wife and later his own father.


Trouble is, David's behavioral changes are quite gradual and do nothing to engage the audience in the first half of the movie. It drags heavily in the beginning taking us on a roundabout look into his mysterious shroud which stays a mystery for much too long in the movie. There's so much discussion on how the money differences between Katherine and David caused a riff between both families, and how prominent the Marks family was in New York City, that not enough attention is paid on the explanation of the obvious oddity that is David Marks. As more mysterious cases turn up swirling around David Marks, the movie goes on a tangent into another arena right when you were beginning to get engrossed. Though the performances were good (especially Dunst), the storytelling could have been a lot better, especially since they took the effort to fictionalized actual events giving the leeway to create a more suspenseful and cunning movie. The result just falls flat.


Reel Talk rating: C+

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