There's a cover version of “She” that Elvis Costello recorded for “Notting Hill” that positively floors me every time I hear it. I think Costello has one of the great male signing voices of the last 40 years, and that song is positively perfect for him, full of longing and regret and that particular blend of joy and pain that distinguishes the best love stories. It's not a song he wrote, though. It was first recorded by Charles Aznavour in the '70s, and he did versions in several different languages.
I've always wanted to use the Costello version in a particular film. I've had it in my head since I wrote a scene in a script at least a decade ago, and since then, I've hoped that no one would use it, that it would pretty much completely fade away. And now David Fincher's gone and ruined that for me, and even worse, I can't be mad about it because he did it so damn well.
Richard Butler, the lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs, is the performer of the version that's in the “Gone Girl” trailer, and while I don't think his version is remotely as effective, it's perfect for the trailer, and the rushed, almost off-key vocals capture some of the weird, off-center anxiety that is so obviously part of Fincher's adaptation of the massive best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn.
Flynn wrote the screenplay for the adaptation, and the draft I read was remarkably faithful to the ideas in the book, while still making some major adaptation choices. It read like a great character-driven mystery, but it looks like Fincher is aiming for something more than that. His film looks to be playing up the way the media feeds off of the human suffering that makes up stories like this. A beautiful wife who is missing, a husband who was sleeping around, and a story that simply doesn't add up… that's catnip for TV news. There are parasites who make their whole careers by leeching off of the sorrow and the agony that families go through when they go through this sort of event. Nancy Grace, for example, is a real-life vampire, a despicable piece of garbage who practically cheers when some poor white girl has something awful happen to them, and while the book certainly took some shots at that part of the culture, Fincher's whole trailer seems to really crank it up.
Good. Ben Affleck is the perfect guy to star in the film and play this part, a guy who finds himself being slowly flayed for the entertainment of others as he tries to make sense of a waking nightmare, and Rosamund Pike has never had a better role than the one she's playing. If you've read the book, you'll recognize all sorts of images in the trailer, and it looks like there's a great cast in place for the entire thing.
And that song… man, it's perfect for this. Once again, Fincher has released a trailer that is already as interesting as other people's entire movies. I can't wait for this fall, because this looks like it's going to be a hell of an effort from all involved.
“Gone Girl” is in theaters October 3, 2014.