A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.
José Luis García Pérez,
A love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for a story of family, obsession, love and loss. Written by
The dysfunctional family of David Marks appears to have scarred him. His mother's death at a young age seems to haunt him. He is the eldest son of a shady, demanding real estate mogul and seems uncomfortable following in his father's footstep and getting involved in this financial empire. He seems bored, disconnected. One day he meets Katie McCarthy, a sunny and enthusiastic young woman. The story, taking place over several decades, explores their growing relationship and how the weight of David's dark legacy makes it all spiral down.
Andrew Jarecki is better known for the well-received Capturing the Friedmans. This is his first full-feature film and he tackles a difficult project but in many respect, this seems a logical continuation. His past as a documentary maker serves him well, since All Good Things is based on a real story. And much like "Friedmans", once again this is about very scary, dark characters. Jarecki's direction is mostly slick and simple, relying on a script and also an amazing cast
It is David who narrates the story, yet things are kept enigmatic and viewers have to reach certain conclusions. There is an economy in dialogue but everything is put in place for you to have a good idea of what is going on in Marks' life. There's something really powerful yet understated about how David inherited of traits both from his mother and his father, pulling him down. Many people have described the film as a sort of mix of romance and mystery, which is accurate. There are almost noir elements to the film.
What is most remarkable about the film by far is the cast. Ryan Gosling continues his ascension as one of the best actors working today. Kirsten Dunst shows why she has become kind of underrated in a very difficult role. They both play every single emotion perfectly and must use a lot of range and in very few words, we get their characters. Frank Langella as the father steals almost every scene he is in. This is an actor who always took his craft seriously but seems to be getting even better as of late. People talk about the chemistry between Dunst and Gosling but I was amazed by Langella and how he made these two actors better in every scene he was with them. Philip Baker Hall is another veteran who shines here in a smaller role later in the film. It's not easy establishing your character with little screen time but he pulls it. The rest of the supporting cast is excellent. Really strong point (and good for Jarecki, a guy used to film real people and not actors).
Where the film is a little less successful is in drawing the audience in. We feel sometimes as emotionally disconnected from these characters as David and Sanford Marks themselves. Jarecki is almost clinical in his approach. The romance never lifts up and so, the mystery grabs the audience a little less. Visually, the film also ends up a mix bag of more naturalistic shots and weird artsy attempts. There are abrupt flashbacks and forwards that make for an uneven pace and a less engaging experience.
Overall, this is still an interesting take based on a fascinating real-life mystery and a rewarding film if you are patient.
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