David Marks (played by Ryan Gosling) is the son of Sanford Marks (by Frank Langella), a property and business baron in New York City. Sanford is a strict and cold father so David has grown up being constantly criticised and berated by him. When he was seven years old, David witnessed his mother’s death and he has suffered about this loss ever since. As a youth, David meets and falls in love with Katie (by Kirsten Dunst). She is a beautiful and intelligent girl and David decides to turn his back on the family business to move with Katie to Vermont to set up their own home-grown health food business. They are very happy here until David’s father visits and persuades him to move back to the city to take up work in his organisation. After this, they enjoy a far more affluent lifestyle but Katie is frustrated and much to David’s annoyance she begins studies as a medical student. David’s behaviour becomes irrational, violent and unpredictable and as time goes by Katie finds this more and more difficult to deal with. Then one day Katie just disappears – Ryan is absolved of any involvement in her disappearance and in the absence of a body, she is listed as a missing person. But that is not yet the end of the story ….
This movie is based on the facts of a murder trial held when David Marks was arrested and tried for murder. The drama is well done and the performances are good. Ryan Gosling is commendable in the role of the real life David Marks (although his ‘aged’ make up is not well done). There are strong performances from all the supporting cast, particularly Frank Langella as David’s father and Philip Baker Hall as an associate, Malvern Bump, who David takes up with towards the conclusion of the story. The truth of Katie’s disappearance does come out and this is an interesting movie.
Made in 2010. Directed by Andrew Jarecki