To put it simply, David Fincher is my all-time favorite movie director. I like how stylish his movies are, and how much detail he puts into them. You can tell how much he thinks about doing as best a job as possible, even to the point of shooting the same scene multiple times to get the best possible takes and angles to be able to express a certain feeling or bit of information. His movies have a lot of dialogue, but it seems to me like he never has more than needed in order to tell the story. In other words, there’s little fat in them. Another reason I love Fincher so much is because his movies are very re-watchable. I can watch them multiple times and never get tired or them, and also see something I missed before. They’re the type that you need to pay attention, but are never convoluted and confusing, which I really appreciate.
Here I’m picking my favorites in each category in the first director awards in Listmania history:
Favorite Movie: The Social Network
*I actually missed this one in the theater when it opened in October 2010, but when I saw it on Blu-ray, it blew me away. I knew it was something special, but at that point, didn’t know how much so. I love everything about it. It has a fascinating story about the beginnings of Facebook, and more so, about how people can use others to get what they want. I have watched this movie many times, and over the last 6 years, it has become my second favorite movie I’ve ever seen.
Favorite Directing: Fight Club
*A big reason I love Fight Club so much is due to Fincher’s direction. I like how he used different techniques to move the movie forward, and at times, to fool us to what’s really going on in any given scene. Fight Club is a story where the truth is told at the end, so Fincher had to be careful to not give any clues about who Tyler Durden really is, and what everyone sees when they are talking to him. I like how he used close ups, long shots, and slow motion. It all added up to a very well-directed movie.
Favorite Screenplay: The Social Network
*Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin had a big task to translate Ben Mezrich’s book to page in order for David Fincher to adapt it to the big screen, and I think he did a marvelous job. I’ve rarely seen a movie where the dialogue zips as fast as it does, and how often it crackles with sharp and clever quotes that are very memorable. Some of my favorite lines come from Mark Zuckerberg, such as “I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. [pauses] Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”.
Favorite Actor: Kevin Spacey (Se7en)
*He’s not in the movie for very long, but when he finally makes his appearance, we’re on the edge of our seat and wondering what he’s gonna do since he’s the one that the police have been looking for. We know he’s dangerous, but when he plays it cool and calm, it’s all the more nerve-racking because we know something BIG is gonna happen. Of course, the ending of the movie is one of the most memorable in cinema history, and part of that is because of the look on Kevin Spacey’s face when the big reveal is made. Spacey is one of the best actors around, and this early performance just spelled out how great he was gonna be in future movies.
Favorite Actress: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
*Having seen Rosamund Pike in other movies prior to Gone Girl, I wasn’t expecting a performance like what she gave us in Gone Girl. She played Amazing Amy who is a psychopath and a tremendous liar. I love how she can go from playing calm around her husband Nick to let it all out violent when she murders Desi and gets blood all over the place. I don’t think I’ll ever get the image of Amy out of my mind when she slit his throat and shook her head with blood splashing everywhere. Rosamund Pike brought her performance up to an 11 in the best way possible. I’m still upset that she lost the Academy Award in 2015 to Julianne Moore for Still Alice. ARGH!
So, thanks for reading, and now I turn it to you. What are your favorites for David Fincher?