Monday, January 3, 2011

All Good Things (2010)

As the writers of shows like "Law & Order" know, it's difficult to fictionalize a story that is "ripped from the headlines." That's the problem with Andrew Jarecki's lastest film, All Good Things. The story is based on the true events surrounding New York City real estate mogul Seymour Durst's son. Robert Durst married Kathleen McCormack, and what was at first a happy marriage culminated in his wife's disappearance. It is speculated that Durst, with a psychologically unstable past, killed his wife, but the case remains unsolved today.

The Durst family name is changed to Marks in All Good Things, Kirsten Dunst plays the innocent hippy wife, and Ryan Gosling plays the ultimately disturbed husband. Though Gosling, Dunst, and Frank Langella (who plays the Seymour Durst character) all perform extremely well, the film is unsatisfying. Since the plot is mostly speculative, there is great buildup with no payoff. No one knows what actually happened, so the audience is left with numerous questions unanswered. Jarecki takes a stab at the case, portraying Robert Durst/David Marks as a cold-blooded killer who got off scot free. This may or may not be true, but the film's climax must be matched by its ending to appease the viewers, which, unfortunately, it does not.

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