EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ALL GOOD THINGS (director: ; screenwriters: Marcus Hinchey/Marc Smerling; cinematographer: Michael Seresin; editors: David Rosenbloom/Shelby Siegel; music: Rob Simonsen; cast: (David Marks), (Katie Marks), (Sanford Marks), (Deborah Lehrman), Philip Baker Hall (Malvern Bump), Michael Esper (Daniel Marks), (Janice Rizzo), Nick Offerman (Jim McCarthy), (Lauren Fleck), Stephen Kunken (Todd Fleck), John Cullum (Richard Panatierre), Diane Venora (DA Rizzo); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Bruna Papandrea/Michael London/Mr. Smerling/Mr. Jarecki; Magnolia; 2010)|
|"Lurid tabloid story, ripped from the
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Friedmans") directs this lurid
tabloid story, ripped from the day's headlines. It's based on “The Millionaire Murderer”
Robert Durst. He's the eccentric heir to a Manhattan real-estate
fortune worth several
hundred million dollars, who supposedly got away with three murders in
New York, Los Angeles and Galveston (at least according to the
filmmaker). The names have been changed to protect all parties, in the
well-researched creepy docudrama screenplay by Marcus
Hinchey and Marc Smerling.
David Marks (Ryan Gosling) is
the mentally troubled reluctant heir to valuable real-estate located
mainly on Times Square, where the
properties consist of sex shops and other sleazy enterprises. Sanford
Marks () is his domineering
father (the film's second villain) who insists, as his oldest son,
David follow in his footsteps in the family real-estate business.
David in 1971, in NYC, meets the
charming working-class girl Katie McCarthy (),
a tenant in one of his father's buildings, and finds her easy to get
along with. He marries the fresh-faced Katie and they migrate to
Vermont, where he buys a health-food store called All Good Things. But
dad lures him back into the business, and the couple move back to NYC.
Katie learns that when David was 7 he witnessed his mother's suicide
when she jumped off the house roof onto the driveway and has been
damaged goods ever since, unsuccessfully treated by professionals.
In 1982 Katie, after feuding
with David, disappears and is never found. When the Westchester DA
plans on reopening the cold case, twenty years after Katie's
disappearance, because of new methods to investigate such cases, David
moves incognito to Galveston, Texas, to get away from the
investigation. He becomes a cross-dresser, pretends to be a mute and
exhibits odd behavior, while befriending his fellow loner tenant Malvern Bump (Philip Baker Hall)--an elderly war veteran facing eviction,
who sees in David an answer to his financial woes. Soon David's best
friend from NYC, a writer, Deborah
Lehrman (), who the Westchester DA is interested in
talking to because her recent novel has things in it that resemble how
Katie vanished, is found slain execution-style in LA. Later in Galveston, Texas, Malvern's body parts are
found floating in the bay. David admits to killing Malvern in
self-defense and throwing his body parts in the bay. Sentenced to 9
months in prison for unlawful burial but exonerated on the murder
charge because of self-defense, David's released after serving his
prison term and now lives in Florida as a real-estate man.
Despite fine performances
from Gosling and Dunst, the pic never moves beyond its tawdry moments
and never reaches to become juicy B-film pulp that can get us
emotionally involved with the miscarriage of justice story. Perhaps
that's because it's too much like a TV magazine story, one that's just
meant to be disposable and not stick with us in a dramatic way.
REVIEWED ON 12/19/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ