Photo: REX USA/MJ Photos/Rex.
Warning! Spoilers ahead.
Here's a tried-and-true cliché for you: Sex sells. So, why is it that one particular kind of sex — oral sex performed by men, on women — so rarely finds its way to the screen? Aside from a few choice scenes (The Good Wife, anyone?), it seems like a silly but fairly set-in-stone taboo for Hollywood. Gone Girl, though, is taking one bold step further to change that.
Amy Dunne as a character is a tricky one, in the best way. By all accounts, David Fincher's adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel (Flynn also penned the script for the movie) is just as unique in its perspective on ideal womanhood as the book, so it's fitting that it would give us a look at a much-neglected part of give-and-take sex between a couple. Rosamund Pike, who plays the devious, strong-willed, infuriating Amy, worked with Fincher and co-star Ben Affleck to revamp that scene, among others. “That’s a side of Rosamund Pike that people don’t expect,” she told Vanity Fair in this enlightening interview.
Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
The interesting thing about a scene like that (in a story like this) is that it's not exactly a straightforward win for feminism and women on screen. The thing that takes Gone Girl from your typical thriller to more nuanced, elevated territory is its ambiguous message. Despite the fact that you know she's a sociopath, a killer, and a life-ruiner, Amy's musings on ditching the prison of the "cool girl" to be a different kind of woman — one who's challenging and demanding that the men around her accept her right to be just that — still make the reader (or me, at least) cheer for a moment before realizing who, exactly, we're cheering for.
So, an oral sex scene could be interpreted one of two ways. One: Amy is a crazy, controlling, psycho bitch who would make her husband do something like that. Two: Amy, though she is also a terrible person, is at least a woman on screen with true agency who gets what she wants in bed, the way that women in real life have been doing for centuries (millennia, probably).
I'm going with the latter, but there's a real possibility that some viewers would interpret it the opposite way, and that's what makes this movie worth talking about.