Truth is stranger than fiction. .
Unbeknown to everybody, most psychotics and sociopaths blend in well in society. They appear to be normal functioning people. Yes, not all of them are in mental institutions locked away for help and protection from themselves and from people they love and care about. And yes, you could be sitting next to one, friends with one and might even fall in love with one.
The movie starts like any other typical romance movies. Boy meets girl and together brews their own brand of happiness in marriage. But no, how could I have guessed it was a dark, twisted story based on true events? How could I have guessed father and son animosity was in fact not the primary obstacle from our couple's joyous union but only a mere subtext of the entire story?
All Good things was a remarkable and powerful examination of New York's wealthiest owners of Manhattan real estate, Durst family. The murder mystery revolves around the eldest son, David Marks (Robert Durst, in real life) on his mysterious involvement to his wife's disappearance and a number of others. Up to now, after three decades, the truth is still unknown.
The film does not involve the usual gruesome visual details; its lack thereof did not affect the terrifying presentation of David's dysfunctional personality producing a shuddering reaction on a purely intellectual level. One moment you see a man profoundly quiet, indifferent, mysterious and above all struggling for his father's approval who expresses his outright disappointment to his son then he suddenly becomes violent, unpredictable and out of control. Even David's relationship with Kathie McCarthy (Katherine Durst) in spite its joys and defiance to the dictates of David's high society was equally intriguing.
Ryan Gosling will always be a personal favorite. His careful portrayal in all the characters he plays cement his ascension and reputation not only as a bankable actor but one regarded with respect. He was given a difficult material to work with yet he gave an incredible performance! You can't help but get drawn with how he effectively became David Markst; a man immensely in love with his wife goes out of control at the mention of his wife's pregnancy. It brought an irreparable crack to their relationship. The mention of kids conjures his traumatic past when he watched his mother commit suicide; this was a fact he cannot bear to tell Kathie. When he forced her to terminate the pregnancy, things go awry, he feel deep into psychosis and gradually drove his marriage and family to a tragic ruin.
I am deeply impressed with Kirsten Dunst. She was superb. She stole the show. Watch this movie and you will temporarily forget that this same actress was a cheerleader in Bring It On and Spiderman's woman. She believably became Kathie Durst. Kathie was a simple small town girl starting a living in the big city when she met and fell in love with David; her life gets quashed by a powerful family's sickness. I watched the usual gaiety in Kirsten/Kathie until she drains away in her husband's black hole. Wealth and power she cares little about, building a happy family with David was everything she asked but he cannot provide. From that woman hopeful for a blissful union with her prince charming, she became an abused mess and a paranoid wreck yet she tried, tried to make it work with her nutcase of a husband.
There were two scenes of them I loved so much. One was when she became an abused mess and decided to leave David, shesaid, 'I've never been closer to anyone and I don't know you at all'. The other was the night before Kathie's disappearance. Without a single line to throw the range of Kirsten Dunst' emotions was stupendous. In one look, she was a woman trying to salvage what remained of her marriage--- to great disgust, sadness, fear and pain as David said, 'You could've been a good mother.'
The film will creep on you, it'd be hard to scratch its after effects away. Halfway through it becomes painful to watch as their hopeful happy ending clearly was not meant to be; it was flawed, pushed to its frayed ends and and gradually crumbles. David Marks aka Robert Durst was a person in need of help but sadly, didn't get any.
FILM FACT: THE Robert Durst watched the shoot from afar. He remains free. Case unsolved. He never served time for the disappearance and murder of his wife, best friend and the old man he met in Galveston.