Fri 7 Jun 2013
‘All Good Things’ is the only big screen feature film made until now by director Andrew Jarecki, who seems to have been involved previously with documentary movies, and we can feel this. Although he had for this movie at hands a splendid team of Hollywood actors who did a fine job he did not succeed to turn the juicy crime story upon which the film is based into a real compelling piece of cinema.
The story Jarecki is using is the highly publicized and never solved case of the disappearance in the early 80s of the wife of a rich class New Yorker, involved in the murky real-estate business of his family in the center of Manhattan. Twenty years and two more bodies later he was brought in Court, but his guilt was never proved and today he walks free. However the film does not focus on the investigation, but rather provides a convincing (on screen) theory of the way things happen, of the motivation and reasons of the crimes. It’s a dark story about moral misery and personal crisis in a family of super-riches. The problem is that it’s hard to define and possibly the distributors had a hard time advertising the genre and the story of the film. Crime stories fans will find themselves watching for more than half of the screening time a family drama, romance (the film starts like kind of a ‘Love Story’) quickly turns into disarray and domestic violence, reality does not necessarily make into cinematographic truth.
The best reasons to watch this film despite mixed reviews and not a very high mark on IMDb is however acting. Ryan Gosling can hardly do wrong on my taste, and here he is facing a complex role, in which he accompanies his deeply troubled hero from young age to late maturity, from the picks of the easy life of the New York socialites to the abyss of the life of a fugitive and transvestite. The even better news is that there is even better acting than Gosling’s in this film and I refer of course to Kirsten Dunst‘s role as the loving wife whose dream of marrying the nice and rich guy slowly descends into nightmare, and to the veteran Frank Langella who injects character and complexity in the role of the family father who is much more than a (anti)-moral symbol. At the end of the day and of the film the artistic truth of this story comes from a different place than the factual truth.