'All Good Things'
(Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, et al / DVD / R / (2010) 2011 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview: Inspired by the most notorious missing persons case in New York history, All Good Things is a love story and murder mystery set against the backdrop of a New York real estate dynasty in the 1980s. Produced and directed by Andrew Jarecki (director of the Academy Award-nominated doc Capturing the Friedmans and producer of Catfish), the film was inspired by the story of Robert Durst, scion of the wealthy Durst family.
DVD Verdict: Ryan Gosling plays the stoner son of a prominent New York family who owns a lot of sleazy property in mid-town Manhattan. He meets a girl (Dunst) who is "not one of them" and they marry. He's not into the family business but is drawn back in and does low level collecting of money from their various nefarious property owners. She wants a kid. He doesn't. He's unbalanced due to witnessing the suicide of his mom as a child. Next thing you know, Dunst is Missing (dead) and he does his best to disappear.
This is a good movie. Not a great. And yet still a good one. But it has so much going for it it reads well. First off are the performances. With Gosling, Dunst and Langella as the main three characters, the acting is great. Kristen Wiig is good but her role is very small. Phillip Baker Hall does his usual great character part.
All the secondary characters hold their own as well. As the movie spans the years from 1971 to (I believe) 2008, great attention is payed to sets, wardrobe, hair styles, music, etc. It's a very interesting story as the producers/writer/director are saying how things went down even though the case has never formally been solved.
Gosling's character is not right in the head. You get hints of this throughout the movie, but in one scene, where he goes over the edge is truly unnerving. Dunst plays a Vermont girl who likes her new life but realizes things are going south. Seeing her as an innocent who takes up smoking and cocaine is interesting. Langella plays the blue-blood snob to the hilt. [ES] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
All Good Things: Truth in Fiction
Back in Time: Researching the Original Story
Unraveling the Story: Interview with Andrew Jarecki
Wrinkles in Time: Ryan Ages
Commentary with Andrew Jarecki (Director/Producer) and Robert Durst
Commentary with Andrew Jarecki (Director/Producer), Marcus Hinchey (Co-Writer/Co-Producer) and Marc Smerling (Co-Writer/Producer)