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USA 2010
Directed by
Andrew Jarecki
101 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

All Good Things

Based on the real life story of Robert Durst, the scion of a very wealthy family of New York real estate developers, who was connected with three separate murders over a 20 year period, All Good Things is intriguing subject matter not well served by a telemovie-ish treatment. Perhaps part of the problem is that the real life aspects remain largely speculative so that writers Marc Smerling and Marcus Hinchey and director Jarecki have found themselves with as much constraint as license in recounting events, their fictional dramatizating being limited by the known facts.  

Durst is renamed David Marks (Ryan Gosling) and his wife, Kathie McCormack, is now Katie McCarthy (Kirsten Dunst), the film following them from the honeymoon period of their relationship in the early 70s when they open a health food store together, David being keen to live independently of his coldly patriarchal father (Frank Langella) before the latter persuades David to return to New York and the family business. The marriage starts to unravel as David’s behaviour becomes increasing erratic and violent. Then Katie disappears without a trace and things start to get very weird

The film adopts a non-chronological approach to the story, using a voice-over of Durst’s real life testimony in his trial for the murder of his neighbour (Philip Baker Hall) in Texas to tie together the three different stands - the missing wife, the murdered neighbour and a murdered friend.  It’s a refreshing approach to the usual liner narrative form although unless you have some familiarity with the Durst case may be a tad opaque.  Indeed Jarecki bought the rights back from Miramax who had kept it on the shelves for 2 years and re-sold them to Magnolia Pictures who released the film in 2010 to resounding box office indifference. Jarecki however had another and much better crack at the story in 2015 with The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.




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