Saturday, December 11, 2010


Still from All Good Things
The thing about Crime-Thriller All Good Things is that it could have been exceptional. The Cast and Acting are there, the Story is intriguing enough and Director Andrew Jarecki is more than capable of making a great Film - but it all falls flat.

Based on facts and evidence (old and new) surrounding a series suspicious disappearances and deaths spanning 1972 to 2003, the Story centers around David Marks (Ryan Gosling), Son of New York City Real Estate giant Sanford Marks (Frank Langella). David is a troubled type who displays obsessive tendencies and a need to please his demanding Father.  As a Child, he witnessed his own Mother's death and never fully recovers from the tragedy.  Somewhat of a Black Sheep, Mark also never really lives up to the high expectations his Father has of him, despite his incessant need to please him.  He meets Katie McCarthy (Kirsten Dunst) who is renting one of his Father's properties and falls in love with her. 

Genuinely in love with David, Katie realizes trouble is ahead when she becomes pregnant - without his support - and gradually it comes to light that The Markses might actually be involved in underhanded dealings. Their relationship becomes increasingly toxic and co-dependent.  Katie finds herself unable to leave David and is reliant on his funding her Medical School ambitions. Likewise, David is dependent on Katie, who feeds his obsession with control.   All good things come to an end as progressively their relationship becomes violent with David becoming threatened by Katie's success. 

Katie disappears, but despite all signs pointing to David being her Murderer, we wonder how it is that to this day he has avoided Conviction. From there, the Story cuts to the early 2000s where additional facts and evidence have been uncovered to warrant a re-opening of Katie's case.  We learn that David Marks, who today is a free man, might well be a ruthless Serial Killer with his ex-Wife possibly not being his only Victim.
Jarecki craftily manipulates us with a happy love story, but then pours on the suspense where it counts most.  Dunst who has been seen little of late, is effective at evoking fear and pain, while Gosling ultimately is the star of the show in a role which has him showing incredibly range, spanning 30 years of David's life.  Marcus Hinchey and Marc Sperling who helmed the Script here clearly put a lot of work in research, but never fully get us into the mind of the troubled David.  Furthermore, important themes like the failure of the Justice system, David's troubled relationship with his Father and his own incessant desire for control, never get fully fleshed-out.  The Film perhaps too carefully works around gore and violence which if included in taste, might actually have heightened our perception of David's brutality.  

In the end, this Story reads more like a gathering of facts and theories rather than its greatest hope - to paint a portrait of a Serial Killer and Justice never has been served.  Released through The Weinstein Co., All Good Things is now in Limited Release.  Grade: C

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