Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

ALL GOOD THINGS

About The Production
"If anything happens to me, don't let him get away with it.” -- Kathie Durst just before her unsolved disappearance
· A love affair that ends with a devastating missing-person's case in New York City that cannot be solved.
· An execution-style killing in Los Angeles with no viable suspects.
· A dismembered corpse set adrift in a remote Texas bay.

These events, which began with the most notorious missing person's case in New York history, were the inspiration behind ALL GOOD THINGS, a love story and murder mystery set against the backdrop of a New York real estate dynasty. The film stars Oscar® nominee Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar® nominee Frank Langella, and was directed by Andrew Jarecki.

The film was inspired by the story of Robert Durst, scion of the wealthy Durst family. Mr. Durst was suspected of, but never tried for, the murder of his wife Kathie who disappeared in 1982 and was never found. To this day, despite multiple investigations and two other headline-making killings, Durst has never been convicted of a single murder and lives as a free, if haunted, man, having received $65 million to sever all ties to his family's vast fortune. The original script for ALL GOOD THINGS was developed by Jarecki, Marc Smerling, and Marcus Hinchey and written by Smerling and Hinchey.

"In constructing this film, we used extraordinary elements from the life of Robert Durst as the inspiration for a dramatic story of desire, family, obsession, and murder,” says Jarecki. "We didn't try to replicate the exact history, but worked to capture the emotion and complexity of this love story turned unsolved mystery that has for years been kept hidden from public view."

"While we extensively researched the Durst case as a way to ground the film in some of its most unique moments and events, and even discovered things about the case that were not known before, we also wanted to be free to explore all the possibilities: the ones known and the ones that could perhaps never be known” said Jarecki. "So we created characters with fictional names.” The main characters in the film are David and Katie Marks, and David's father Sanford Marks.

Jarecki is renowned for his Oscar® nominated documentary CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS – itself a probing, emotionally explosive examination of a family torn apart by secrets – and might have been expected to take a similar approach to ALL GOOD THINGS. But he turned in the opposite direction. He and his creative partner, Marc Smerling, felt that the events that inspired this film, which have been so resistant to extensive police and journalistic investigations, would require a completely different path. They set out to make a powerful cinematic experience, while also speculating on the nature of and connections between three crimes that have gone unpunished and have never been understood.

In the innovative ALL GOOD THINGS, Jarecki explores all three, using the narrative form of a suspense thriller, and recruited some of Hollywood's most sought-after actors – Gosling, Dunst, and Langella -- to bring the characters to life.

Jarecki explains: "For me, the most important thing was getting inside the heart and mind of a man who was suspected of involvement in three deaths over the course of thirty years. Whatever the truth is about his involvement, David Marks loses everyone who is closest to him – and most importantly his wife -- the one woman who truly loved him for who he was and who he could have been. The woman who could have been his salvation. I wanted audiences to experience their love story at an emotional level, to gain some understanding of what went wrong, and that meant bringing the story to life in the way that only great actors can.”

Jarecki has long been interested in the elusiveness of human behavior – a theme that came to the fore in CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS. But now, as he began the hybrid process of making ALL GOOD THINGS, storytelling itself became a means of investigation. "What was remarkable,” he goes on, "is that in the process of doing research for the film, developing the script, rehearsing the film with the actors and ultimately shooting it, we developed views about the original case that we had never before considered. The final story became very much about power and its proxy – money – and what happens when it takes over at the expense of love,” observes Jarecki. "When power becomes the priority in a family, it can destroy all the love, justice, and humanity it finds in its path.”

Jarecki and Smerling were first drawn into Robert Durst's dark and twisting tale years ago, when it was fodder for a blaze of tabloid headlines. They always suspected there was much more to the story than the lurid, sensational elements that drew so much attention.

"I'm always curious about the human side of monster stories, in decoding the real, complicated life that lies behind extreme behavior,” Jarecki explains. "Robert Durst, the man who inspired the character of David Marks, was presented as an almost burlesque figure in the media – this cross-dressing, fantastically rich, eccentric maniac – but when we began to research him, we found he started out as a guy we all can recognize, someone with hopes and dreams and a desire to have a good life. He met this beautiful girl from a modest family on Long Island, so far from the sophisticated world he had inhabited as a young man, and fell in love. And for a time, she helped to make him a better person.”

Gosling's portrayal of the film's protagonist, David Marks, brings tremendous depth to the character. Abandoned by his mother who committed suicide when the boy was only seven, he came from a family of frozen emotion, where money and power were paramount. "At the start of our story, love seemed to have unlocked him; to have opened up dreams of a better kind of life, of greater peace, if only for a moment, and then his fateful decision to return to the his father's world broke everything apart.” Jarecki continues: "As the eldest son myself in a family of privilege, with a father who was unabashed about wanting me to carry on his legacy, I could relate to the character in a personal way.”

Jarecki increasingly saw his two main characters, David and Katie Marks, as grappling, in different ways, with the conflicts between a yearning for love and the drive of ambition. "David was someone who was always at risk because of his family history and the damage that was done to him psychologically at a young age, but there was a real person there at one point, the person who went to Vermont with Katie full of hope for a life that would finally allow him love, a life that would put love above the ambition of his powerful father,” says the director. "His tragic error in judgment was returning to work for his father, and sacrificing his heart for a world that meant nothing to him.”

He continues: "Katie, on the other hand, was drawn not only to David, in spite of his problems, but to a world that she felt would free her to be all that she wanted to be. Both things can be true: that Katie was an innocent young girl who fell in love with someone irresistibly different; at the same time, she was also ambitious and wanted the opportunities of a life in Manhattan, far beyond what she had seen growing up in Mineola, Long Island." Adds Hinchey: "They were attracted to the opposites in each other. She liberated him from these social chains that had always been part of his life and he offered her the allure of a life she aspired to. It was a very romantic, complicated relationship that became dangerous. You see in their story

Next Production Note Section

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 39,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google