Director: Andrew Jarecki
Writers: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, and Philip Baker Hall
Rated: R (sexuality, drug use, violence)
Official movie site | IMDb/trailer
Ryan Gosling has been a household name this past year. This is for good reason: the man has good range. Whether it’s playing a ladies man with his Photoshopped abs or a wheel-man out for blood, he can get us believing in his characters. Last year’s All Good Things is another surprising role for Gosling. He plays David Marks (based around the real life Robert Durst), a young man from a wealthy New York real estate family.
The story starts off simple and fairly slow. Marks meets Katie (Kirsten Dunst) and they fall in love. They move to Vermont to run a health food store called All Good Things, however they soon return to New York after David’s father’s urges for him to be a part of the family business. It’s at this point things start getting interesting. Once David and Katie get married, things really start getting strange.
David soon shows signs of some kind of mental disturbance. From talking to himself, to distancing himself from Katie, it’s clear that something isn’t right. Gosling handles the many different sides of David with eerie accuracy. The bouts between David and Katie are emotional and intense, which really start to set the tone for the rest of the film.
The chemistry with Dunst and Gosling is great (well, despite the dark circumstances that take place). I can’t say Kirsten Dunst has done a lot to get my attention since The Virgin Suicides, but in this film she did an excellent job and really had me feeling for Katie. Similar to my response to Gosling and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine, Ryan and Kirsten really have me believing they are a couple with serious marital problems.
This is far from just a relationship gone wrong drama, however. We see glimpses of shady real estate escapades in the background as well as a status-loving family and the pressure that can have. The second half of the film also turns into a dark crime mystery with multiple murders and curious hints placed throughout different scenes. All of these events comprise a bizarre character study that is even more fascinating when considering the facts of which it is based.
I found it surprising I haven’t heard more about this film, especially considering how “in” Gosling is these days. The film is solid with great directing and cinematography, and a top notch cast. Perhaps a lot of people don’t enjoy a slower burning drama that builds up character development and story and would rather have the good stuff dished out to them right away. Or maybe I’m just partial to a good dark crime thriller based on real people and events. Whatever the case may be, All Good Things was a great surprise.