All Good Things (film)

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All Good Things
All Good Things poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Jarecki
Written byMarcus Hinchey
Marc Smerling
Produced by
CinematographyMichael Seresin
Edited byDavid Rosenbloom
Shelby Siegel
Music byRob Simonsen
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures (United States)
The Weinstein Company (International)[1]
Release date
  • December 3, 2010 (2010-12-03)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million
Box office$1.8 million[2]

All Good Things is a 2010 American mystery/crime romantic drama film directed by Andrew Jarecki and written by Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling. Inspired by the life of Robert Durst, it stars Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, and Frank Langella. Gosling portrays the wealthy son of a New York real estate tycoon (Langella) who develops a disturbing relationship with his wife (Dunst) and becomes suspected of a series of murders, as well as his wife's 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 on December 3, 2010.[3][4]

Durst professed admiration for the film, and after previously not cooperating with journalists, offered to be interviewed by Jarecki. Durst would ultimately sit with Jarecki for more than 20 hours over a multi-year period, which led to the six-part documentary miniseries The Jinx in 2015.


In 1970s New York City, David Marks, the son of a powerful real estate tycoon Sanford Marks, marries Katie McCarthy, a working-class student. Together they try to establish a new life in Vermont, setting up a health food store called All Good Things. However, Sanford manipulates David into returning to the city, telling him that Katie deserves more than he's currently giving her. Upon their return, Katie brings up the idea of having children. David says it will never ever happen, which leads Katie to assume something is wrong with his fertility. After buying a lake house, Katie confesses to their pregnant neighbor that she is expecting as well. David responds angrily upon finding out and forces Katie to make an appointment for an abortion. He misses the appointment when he is called away to do work for his father.

Katie enters medical school while her relationship with David continues to deteriorate. She makes inquiries 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 compel the family to let her leave David, Katie attempts to find incriminating documents of their financial activities. She then disappears without a trace in 1982, despite a $15,000 reward offered for any information on her whereabouts.

Eighteen years later, the case is reopened by the district attorney after reading an unpublished novel written by David's best friend, Deborah Lehrman, which contains a murder almost identical to the Marks case. Soon after this is announced, Lehrman is shot and killed in her home, and David is under suspicion again while standing trial for the murder of his neighbor Malvern Bump in Texas. David is acquitted of the murder of Bump; the film states that nobody has ever been tried for Lehrman's murder and that Katie remains a missing person to this day. A flash-back implies that David left his wife's remains in the trunk of her car, which the father finds. The film ends with David visiting his dying father and whispering to him, "I miss her so much." It's left to the viewer to decide whether he is talking about Katie or his mother.



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.[12][13] The film's title refers to a health food store of the same name which Durst and McCormack had established in the 1970s.[12]

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.[5] 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 $20,000,000.[14]

Filming began in April in New York City and various locations in Connecticut,[7] which were chosen for "the tax incentive, scenic and period locations" provided by the state.[15] Shooting on Lillinonah Drive at a lakefront house in Brookfield, Connecticut began in early May.[16] Five locations at the Fairfield University campus were used for several scenes over a week of filming.[17] The set moved to Carl Schurz Park, New York City, briefly before switching back to Connecticut.[18] 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 edits, such as graffito removal.[19]

A single minute-long scene was shot on a bridge over the Housatonic River.[15] 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.[20] The following day, filming moved to Waterbury, Connecticut.[21] 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.[22] Filming later returned to Brookfield, Connecticut.[16] The crew also shot for two days at the Ridgefield Community Center—standing in for New York's Gracie Mansion—in Ridgefield, Connecticut.[23] 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.[24][25]

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".[26] 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."[26]

He eventually used some of that footage in the HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx (2015). This included the result of approximately twenty hours of discussion with Durst himself.[27]


The film was originally set for release on July 24, 2009.[28] 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."[29] Soon after, the film was set to release on December 11, 2009, only to be delayed again.[30] The Weinstein Company released their upcoming film slate, with All Good Things listed for a March 2010 release. This never materialized.[31]

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.[1] On August 24, 2010, Magnolia Pictures acquired the American rights and gave the film a theatrical release on December 3, 2010.[3][4]

All Good Things was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 29, 2011,[32] with commentary by Jarecki and Robert Durst.[33]

Critical reception[edit]

As of June 2020, the film holds a 35% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 98 reviews with an average rating of 5.51 out of 10. 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."[34] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[35]

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."[36]

Box office[edit]

All Good Things earned $582,024 at the US box office and another $1,172,365 at the foreign box office for a worldwide total of $1,754,389.[37]

The Jinx[edit]

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, 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.[38]


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  16. ^ a b Benjamin, Scott (May 2, 2008). "Hollywood—in Brookfield". The Brookfield Journal. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
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  24. ^ Lee, Jennifer 8. (June 26, 2008). "Times Square's Seedier Side Returns (Have a Peep)". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  25. ^ "Kirsten Dunst & Ryan Gosling Close Down Go Go Curry & Ying Du". Midtown Lunch. June 25, 2008. Archived from the original on 7 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  26. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana (January 30, 2009). "Documentary directors change gears". Variety. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
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  29. ^ "Release Delay". Deadline Hollywood. 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
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  38. ^ Caroline Bankoff (March 15, 2015). "Robert Durst Arrested for Murder". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 23, 2015.

External links[edit]