Directed by: Andrew Jarecki
Written by: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella
They say “all good things come to an end.” Andrew Jarecki’s All Good Things comes to a rather disappointing one. While Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst deliver electrifying performances in this dark and disturbing thriller, the film’s recreation of true events loses its compelling quality as the initial nail-biting suspense in the first two acts circles into a rushed mess at the film’s end.
David (Gosling) works in the family real estate business. It’s not something he’d wanted to do, but after marrying Katie (Dunst), his father convinces him that the wealth and security of the job is what she desires and deserves. Owning profitable property on New York’s 42nd Street, David certainly reaps the benefits in material ways, but when it comes to giving Katie her unborn child, David won’t allow it. As the friction between this couple grows increasingly violent and Katie finds her life controlled by David and his family’s power, it’s only a matter of time before Katie discovers the true colors of her husband.
All Good Things presents all the right material for a potentially riveting thriller (the voice over of the protagonist being tried in court included). The story develops with an intensely engaging sense of drama and surprise, whilst simultaneously stringing us along with Gosling’s controlled and powerful portrayal of David. But once the film begins to get interesting, the conventional tricks of the trade begin to rear their ugly head, forcing the film to lose its earlier tension. Instead of allowing us to read the characters through dialogue and dramatically involved moments, the voice over interrupts, a growing sense of repetition is felt, and the ending quickly patches up our understanding of the film with overlay text and poorly paced scenes that stick ambiguity down our throats, rather than giving us a chance to figure it out ourselves. Despite ‘all the good things’ in this film, it’s sad to say we’re left a little disappointed.