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NEW YORK (Reuters) - David's Fincher's "Gone Girl" kicked off the New York Film Festival on Friday adding a bit of Hollywood glitz and glamour to one of the most anticipated openings of the year.
The world premiere of the chilling psychological thriller and probing analysis of a marriage is a return appearance for Fincher at the 17-day film festival. The dual Academy Award nominated director premiered "The Social Network" at the festival in 2010.
"Gone Girl," which opens across the United States on Oct. 3, is based on the hugely successful book by Gillian Flynn, who also penned the screenplay, about a wife who mysteriously vanishes on her fifth wedding anniversary and the fickle media frenzy that develops as the story unfolds.
"I was amazed at the true line, the power that the story had as it related to this idea of the narcissistic armor, the vision of ourselves that we project and construct," Fincher said after the premiere.
Like his earlier films such as "Se7en" and "Fight Club," "Gone Girl" is a stylized, highly visual film with dark themes.
Dual Oscar winner Ben Affleck, ("Argo" and "Good Will Hunting") is Nick Dunne, a former writer in New York who loses his job in the recession and returns to his Missouri roots and opens a bar with his twin sister Margo, played by Carrie Coon ("The Leftovers").
His life unravels when his beautiful, blonde, New York-born wife Amy, British actress Rosamund Pike ("Jack Reacher"), mysteriously vanishes and through a diary and treasure hunt she gave him as an anniversary present he becomes the prime suspect.
"We really dissect, we put a marriage under a microscope," said Pike. "It is about intimacy and the wonderful things that can go with intimacy and the treachery that can come with intimacy when you know someone so well."
Actor Tyler Perry ("Madea Gets a Job") plays Nick's self-assured, high-priced defense attorney. Neil Patrick Harris, of TV's "How I Met Your Mother," is Amy's creepy, besotted former boyfriend and Kim Dickens ("The Blind Side") is the detective leading the investigation.
Like the novel, the film jumps back and forth in time through flashbacks, revealing unexpected twists and is told from both Nick's and Amy's perspectives.
In adapting her book, Flynn said the important thing for her was not to adhere strictly to all the plot lines but to make sure it ultimately felt like the book, and to keep the dark part and the weird nuances.
Early reviews have been nearly unanimous in their praise.
The trade magazine Variety described the film as "surgically precise, grimly funny and entirely mesmerizing," adding that the director and its leading stars were at the top of their game.
"Superbly cast from the two at the top to the smallest speaking parts, impeccably directed by Fincher and crafted by his regular team to within an inch of its life, 'Gone Girl' shows the remarkable things that can happen when filmmaker and material are this well matched," said the Los Angeles Times.
Editing by Nick Macfie