Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
Director Andrew Jarecki knew he wanted Kirsten Dunst in All Good Things, to play a middle-class Long Island pre-med student who falls in love with the son of one of the wealthiest real estate families in New York. A young woman who is courted, married, and then descends into emotional darkness -- before disappearing, under mysterious circumstances, never to be seen again.
“We had talked about Kirsten very early on,” says Jarecki, who has turned from documentary (Capturing the Friedmans) to fiction -- but fiction based on the real-life figure Robert Durst, the millionaire scion of a Manhattan property company, whose wife, Kathie, vanished in 1982. In All Good Things, Ryan Gosling plays the Durst character, renamed David Marks, and Dunst is Katie Marks.
“It’s hard to find an actor who has the acting ability — which a lot of people don’t really even know she has, and she does — and then also find somebody who kept her original teeth and has this very natural quality," Jarecki says. "Plus, she’s from New Jersey. It was a pretty easy leap.”
Jarecki says that as the film rolls out into theaters (it’s playing at the Ritz at the Bourse and Rave Motion Pictures at the Ritz Center/NJ), the buzz on Dunst -- who goes from upbeat, innocent young suburbanite, to a crushingly disappointed spouse forced to have an abortion, to a Studio 54 cokehead -- has been turning electric.
“I’ve been getting phonecalls from directors who say, `Wow, I’m just getting ready to cast so-and-so, she would be the more obvious choice, but I heard that Kirsten did this really great thing in your movie, would you mind if I saw some?' And so I made a DVD of five her scenes in the movie, and they’re really great to watch. It really gives you an idea… You’ll say, `I’ve never seen her do something like that before. Pretty amazing.'”