Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Gone Girl' Shifts Film Focus to Missouri Once Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Gone Girl' Shifts Film Focus to Missouri Once Again

Article excerpt

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.

"Meet Me in St. Louis" this ain't.

More like "Murder Me in Cape Girardeau." And a lot of people are thrilled about it. * The new whodunit "Gone Girl," which opens nationwide Friday, could be the brightest spotlight to shine on Show- Me State cinema since Judy Garland heard the clang-clang-clang of the trolley. * Based on a bestseller by Kansas City native Gillian Flynn, the story is set in the fictional river town of North Carthage, Mo. But much of it was filmed in Cape Girardeau, two hours south of St. Louis, which hosted stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike for six weeks last fall. Dozens of locals worked on the crew, and hundreds more were background extras in crowd scenes. * The Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the production generated $8 million for the community, along with publicity it is hoping to steer in a positive direction. On visitcape.com, the CVB features a map of the major shooting locales and assures potential visitors that the city's gray makeover was strictly a Hollywood illusion.

"Gone Girl" was directed by slice-and-dice auteur David Fincher ("Se7en," "Zodiac," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"). Those who are unfamiliar with Fincher's work are forewarned that this is a dark drama about a seemingly perfect marriage that may have ended in murder. Yet the 6 million readers who devoured Flynn's book know that it's a puzzle with a biting wit.

Much of the satire in the book and movie is about the toxic effects of tabloid journalism.

Flynn, who wrote the screenplay, attended journalism school at Northwestern University. ("My family was devastated that I didn't choose Mizzou," she said in a recent phone interview.) But she soon discovered that she didn't have the stomach to be a crime reporter. Eventually, Flynn became the television critic for Entertainment Weekly, and "Gone Girl" lampoons the gutter tactics of TV sleuths such as Nancy Grace.

Like Nick Dunne (Affleck), the Missouri native who returns to his hometown and is suspected of murdering wife Amy (Pike) on their fifth wedding anniversary, Flynn, 43, eventually forsook New York for the Midwest. …

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