All Good Things (film)
|All Good Things|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Jarecki|
|Written by||Marcus Hinchey|
|Music by||Rob Simonsen|
|Edited by||David Rosenbloom|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
All Good Things is a 2010 American mystery/crime romantic drama film written by Marcus Hinchey and directed by Andrew Jarecki. It starred Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Inspired by the life of accused murderer Robert Durst, the film chronicles the life of the wealthy son of a New York real estate tycoon, and a series of murders linked to him, as well as his volatile relationship with his wife and her subsequent unsolved disappearance.
All Good Things was filmed between April and July 2008 in Connecticut and New York. Originally scheduled for a July 24, 2009 release, the film ultimately received a limited release in December 3, 2010.
Robert Durst professed admiration for the film and offered to be interviewed by Jarecki, although he had not previously cooperated with journalists. Durst would ultimately sit with Jarecki for more than 20 hours over a multi-year period. From their sessions, Jarecki made a six-part documentary miniseries, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, shown on HBO in March 2015.
In 1970s New York City, David Marks (Gosling), the son of a powerful real estate tycoon, marries Katie McCarthy (Dunst), a beautiful working-class student. Together they flee New York for country life in Vermont, setting up a health food store called 'All Good Things' — only to be lured back by David's father (Frank Langella) who preys upon David's insecurities by telling him that Katie deserves more than he's currently giving her. Upon their return, Katie and David buy a beautiful apartment and Katie brings up the idea of having children. David implies he can't have any. After buying a lake house out of town, Katie confesses to their pregnant neighbor that she is expecting as well. When Katie tells David the good news, he responds by throwing things and then breaks down at the thought of being a parent. After forcing Katie to make an appointment for an abortion, David misses the appointment while doing work for his father.
Katie goes back to college and eventually gets into medical school but the relationship between Katie and David continues to deteriorate. Katie makes enquiries about a separation, but her funds, which she needs in order to pay for school, are cut off when she attempts to leave. Having been advised that she will need leverage to make the family let her go, Katie attempts to find incriminating documents of the family's financial activities. She then disappears without a trace, despite a $15,000 reward offered for any information on her whereabouts.
Years later, the case is re-opened by the current District Attorney of New York after reading an unpublished novel written by David's best friend Deborah Lehrman (Lily Rabe), which contains a murder almost identical to the Marks case. Soon after this is announced, Lehrman is shot in her home, and David is under suspicion again while standing trial for the murder of his neighbour in Galveston, Texas. David is acquitted of the murder of his neighbour; the film states that nobody has ever been tried for Deborah Lehrman's murder and that Katie Marks remains a missing person to this day. The film ends with David visiting his dying father and whispering to him that he misses Katie every single day.
- Ryan Gosling as David Marks (Robert Durst)
- Kirsten Dunst as Katie McCarthy (Kathleen McCormack)
- Frank Langella as Sanford Marks (Seymour Durst)
- Lily Rabe as Deborah Lehrman (Susan Berman)
- Philip Baker Hall as Malvern Bump (Morris Black)
- Michael Esper as Daniel Marks (Douglas Durst)
- Diane Venora as Janice Rizzo (Jeanine Pirro)
- Nick Offerman as Jim McCarthy (Jim McCormack)
- Kristen Wiig as Lauren Fleck 
- Stephen Kunken as Todd Fleck
- John Cullum as Richard Panatierre (Dick DeGuerin)
- Maggie Kiley as Mary McCarthy
- Liz Stauber as Sharon McCarthy
- Marion McCorry as Ann McCarthy (Ann McCormack)
The screenplay for All Good Things was written by Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling as a narrative loosely based on the events in the life of Robert Durst, a New York City real estate heir whose first wife, Kathleen McCormack, disappeared in 1982. The film's title refers to a health food store of the same name which Durst and McCormack had established in the 1970s.
After the script was completed and Andrew Jarecki had agreed to direct, Ryan Gosling was attached to star and Kirsten Dunst was in negotiations by late January 2008. By early April, Frank Langella was in final negotiations with the film's producers to join. Soon after, The Weinstein Company closed a deal to distribute All Good Things, and the film's budget was set at US$20 million.
Filming began in April in New York City and various locations in Connecticut, which were chosen for "the tax incentive, scenic and period locations" provided by the state. Shooting on Lillinonah Drive at a lakefront house in Brookfield, Connecticut began in early May. Five locations at the Fairfield University campus were used for several scenes over a week of filming. The set moved to Carl Schurz Park, New York City, briefly before switching back to Connecticut. Three scenes were shot at Canal Street, Shelton, Connecticut, on May 30–31. Much of the Canal Street filming focused on the "heavy, industrial features" of the area, although the crew made some touch-ups, such as graffiti removal.
A single minute-long scene was shot on a bridge over the Housatonic River. Scenes were shot on Route 7 in Gaylordsville, Connecticut, on June 3, where a shop opposite the local fire department was used as a health food store. The following day, filming moved to Waterbury, Connecticut. The Hospital of Saint Raphael was used as a filming location on June 6. The film set at the hospital was built on a vacant floor scheduled to be renovated, and took a week for set designers to prepare. Filming later returned to Brookfield, Connecticut. The crew also shot for two days at the Ridgefield Community Center—standing in for New York's Gracie Mansion —in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Manhattan;s West 38th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, was used for the old 42nd Street for shooting on June 25–26; shops were converted into 1970s Times Square sex shops and strip shows.
Jarecki, who previously produced and directed the 2003 documentary Capturing the Friedmans, said that making All Good Things "was less about wanting to do a narrative feature vs. a documentary and more about the merits of this particular project". He shot "hundreds of hours of footage" of people associated with the true story of Robert Durst, saying that "It was part of the process. Maybe it will end up on the DVD some day."
The film was originally set for release on July 24, 2009. In spring 2009, the film was delayed. An insider from The Weinstein Company stated that "the movie is really strong. We just needed more time to complete it." Soon after, the film was set to release on December 11, 2009, only to be delayed again. The Weinstein Company released their upcoming film slate, with All Good Things listed for a March 2010 release. This never materialized.
In March 2010, director Andrew Jarecki bought back the U.S. distribution rights and was searching for a new distributor for the film. The Weinstein Company still holds the international rights, as well as basic cable television rights. On August 24, 2010, Magnolia Pictures acquired the American rights to the film and gave the film a theatrical release on December 3, 2010.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 33% and average score of 5.5/10 based on 95 reviews. The consensus was: "It's well-acted, and the true story that inspired it offers plenty of drama—which is why it's so frustrating that All Good Things is so clichéd and frustratingly ambiguous." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Both Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling were praised for their performances. Roger Ebert awarded the film three and a half out of four stars, applauded Dunst's performance, but added, "I don't understand David Marks after seeing this film, and I don't know if Andrew Jarecki does."
All Good Things earned $582,024 at the US box office and another $62,511 at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $644,535.
Robert Durst professed admiration for All Good Things and telephoned Jarecki after its release, offering to be interviewed, although he had not previously cooperated with journalists. Durst and Jarecki spent more than 20 hours together over several years. In February and March, 2015, director Jarecki's six-part documentary miniseries, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, was shown on HBO. Durst was arrested in New Orleans, Louisiana, on first degree murder charges the day before the final episode aired on March 15, in which he appeared unintentionally to confess to three murders.
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