All Good Things (2010)
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.
Genre : Crime/Thriller/Drama
Country : USA
Ryan Gosling : David Marks
Kirsten Dunst : Katie Marks
Frank Langella : Sanford Marks
Director : Andrew Jarecki
“My father always said to only regret the things you didn’t do not the things you did.”
“All good things” is a beautiful love story that slowly turns into a psychological drama and ends up as a mystery. A mystery that remains unsolved and ultimately has an open end as big as the Grand Canyon. It’s based on true facts and reconstructed according to court documents. In reality, it was about Kathleen Durst, who’s to this day still registered as a missing person. She was married to Robert Durst, son of a real estate mogul in New York. On January 31, 1982, the 29-year-old student from Manhattan, New York disappeared . And now, after all these years, they made this movie in which the main characters are given the names Katie and David Marks.
They managed to cast two big names for this movie who depict the turbulent love life in a recognizable and convincing manner. Kirsten Dunst played an outstanding poignant role as the lovable Katie who falls for the charming David, played by Ryan Gosling. Personally, I’m not so impressed with Gosling’s previous acting. I was afraid I had to look at a straight face again the whole movie. A face where not a shred of emotion is detectable. But that turned out better than I was hoping for and throughout the whole movie Gosling showed a true pallet of all sorts of human emotions: joy, love, sadness, fear, pain and anger. Compared to the two movies “Drive” and “Only God Forgives“, Gosling had a shitload of text to remember. A great interpretation. In particular, the gradual transition from a charming young man into a tormented, aggressive and introverted person was a well played act.
Ditto for Kirsten Dunst. She charms you from the beginning with her lovely appearance and highly endearing smile. The desperation that she shows after a certain time and the intense grief she has when she realizes that there isn’t a possibility to escape this nightmare, is a beautiful rendition. It certainly is a more subtle role than just playing the girlfriend of Spiderman.
“All good things” starts obviously with all the good things that are part of human life. Meeting someone for the first time, flirting and the intense feeling of love, thinking about the future, wedding plans … Everything peppered with joy and love. Life can’t go wrong anymore. And then the pink cloud turns into a dark gray rainy cloud. The moment Katie brings up the subject of having children, it’s radically rejected by David. This is the reversal in the passionate relationship that existed between these two lovers. And before you know it the atmosphere is ruined and the ghosts from the past are haunting him again. David turns into a depressed, moody and aggressive person. The gap between the two is growing by the day. It goes from bad to worse and Katie begins to explore the possibilities of a divorce. And then she disappears … And that is until now still the case. Unresolved.
The moment the story changes from a touching romantic and emotional movie into a thriller full of mystery, I lost focus. It was suddenly all very absurd and confusing. The chemistry between David and Katie and the built up tension was wonderful to see. But the part about the disappearance and subsequent the judicial investigation with scattered fragments, was fairly vague. The only thing made clear throughout the film was the heavy burden resting on David’s shoulders. David withdrawing himself in anonymity because the finger was pointed at him, I can understand. But the masquerade and dressing up as a woman, was a bit too much and unexplained. Ultimately, it’s a movie without a clear answer. But It couldn’t be otherwise, since that’s how it was in reality. And eventually you end up with even more questions than when the movie started! Actually it’s a film that belongs in the category of “TV movies about unsolved disappearances” as “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case” with Anthony Hopkins. A banal movie you can watch again on a rainy Saturday night on a TV-channel.