#PopCulture_Junkie: All Bets on Ben Affleck and ‘Gone Girl’ for Award Season Sweep


Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Affleck proudly displays his golden statue for ‘Argo’ at the 85th annual Academy Awards. His latest film may be another Oscar contender.

When people ask me what my favorite season is, I always respond with award season.

This season applies mainly to films and television and commences with the Emmys in September, and concludes with the Academy Awards in March.

I live and breathe award season. For me, it’s a time obsessively filled with checking reviews on Goldderby.com, refreshing Las Vegas’ nomination odds, and watching award hopefuls.

Sure, the blockbusters of the summer and Christmas holidays are fun and exciting, but the fall films are the ones that will leave audiences speechless.

In order to command the attention of the critics and voters, a film must have the textbook balance of technical perfection, intrigue, and “the big three” – directing, acting, and writing. If a film lacks in one aspect, then it takes an act of Congress and a well-run promotional campaign to be seriously considered.

This year, the first film demanding that level of critics’ attention is “Gone Girl.”

“Gone Girl” is an adaptation of the New York Times bestseller of the same name. If one were to look at films that adhere to the rules of “the big three,” then there is no doubt this film fits the model for an award season hopeful.

“Gone Girl” seemed to have “For Your Consideration” stamped on it before filming ever began. David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Se7en”) is directing a cast that includes two-time Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Good Will Hunting,” “Argo”), Rosamund Pike (“Pride and Prejudice”), Tyler Perry, and Neil Patrick Harris.

The film centers on married couple Nick Dunne (Affleck) and his wife, the “Amazing Amy” (Pike). However, after Amy goes missing on their fifth anniversary, and Nick’s abnormal behavior is broadcast across America, the audience must ask themselves: did Nick Dunne murder his wife?

This psychological thriller is right in Fincher’s wheelhouse and allows Ben Affleck to continue his post-“Gigli” career renaissance while Rosemund Pike steps into the light of the leading lady.

With numerous twists and turns (and a very creepy Neil Patrick Harris, I might add), this film takes viewers on a modern day murder mystery mission that follows the anniversary treasure hunt that Amy left for Nick.

While the recipe is ripe for the Oscars, unfortunately, psychological thrillers are generally thrown by the wayside when it comes to nominations. I hope that with the buzz surrounding this highly anticipated film, along with the right moves by Fincher and the people at Fox, “Gone Girl” will garner the recognition it deserves. I mean, the addition of Ben Affleck, as an award show mainstay could only serve to make the season more magical and enthralling than it already is.

So, get your popcorn and ballots ready because I think “Gone Girl” will be the biggest critical hit this award season.