Time Out Rio de Janeiro

All Good Things

All Good Things

Opens 21 Oct 2011

Director Andrew Jarecki

Cast Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Gosling

All Good Things website

All Good Things website

Anyone can recognize that Charles Foster Kane resembles a certain newspaper magnate with a castle, and even nongeniuses will notice that David Marks, the aristocratic psychotic at the centre of Andrew Jarecki’s thriller, shares a few traits with an infamous property scion. The filmmakers can change the names to protect the allegedly guilty all they want; as played by Ryan Gosling, Marks is Robert Durst, member of the Gotham elite and accused murderer. Like Durst, this heir to an empire marries a comely commoner (Dunst) and opens up a Vermont health-food store in the early ’70s. He’s dragged back home by a domineering dad (Langella) to do dodgy deeds for the family business, acting erratic long before his spouse goes “missing” in 1982; cut to 18 years later, when the case is reopened—and things really get stranger than fiction.

It’s a juicy story, though that doesn’t excuse Jarecki from fixating above all else on the tabloid-ready twists and pop-psychological turns of Durst’s story. We’re meant to view the character’s sociopathic behavior as a symptom of upper-crust moral rot. (Rich people—so like us, yet so cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs crazy!) Yet any substantial examinations of how class figures into the mix are buried deep enough under lurid true-crime tropes that it’d take teams of detectives to find them. Watching Kirsten Dunst idle in three modes—sad, sadder and zombie—is letdown enough, but seeing Gosling so thoroughly wasted borders on Shakespearean tragedy; only those who’ve been curious as to what the actor looks like in old-man makeup, Mrs. Doubtfire–like drag or both will feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth. All good things must come to an end; missed-potential melodramas about real-life scandals, however, can’t be over soon enough. 

Words by David Fear
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