There is nothing natural about the bizarre tale that inspired director Andrew Jarecki to make his new film All Good Things. And yet, at a luncheon at Michael's today, introducing his star, Kirsten Dunst --in an Oscar-worthy performance as a doomed young woman whose disappearance 18 years ago remains a mystery-- he claims that her naturalness drew him to her, signing her on even before he got Ryan Gosling to play the husband. Of course, the director of the documentary, Capturing the Friedmans, is no stranger to the ways reality can out spook the imagination. Taking a headline-grabbing story of the real cross-dressing Robert Durst, replete with unsolved crimes, Andrew Jarecki's creation is like a true-life novelization that would make Truman Capote proud-or maybe even jealous.
Looking radiant despite having just arrived from San Francisco where she wrapped her role as Camille in the much-anticipated film of the iconic Kerouac novel, On the Road, Dunts told me this role provided the challenge of having to stay believably with a man who becomes increasingly more violent. She praised Ryan Gosling's performance, noting that often actors portray only the creepy side of a creep. From the beginning of their on-screen relationship, when as newlyweds they go off to Vermont to open a natural foods store called All Good Things, Gosling shows a quiet charm. You wish his father, played by the irresistible Frank Langella had not prevailed, luring the couple back to the family business in Manhattan real estate. Langella said at the movie's premiere at Buddakan last week, this is his year for playing aging Jewish men, referring of course to his part in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
A second unsolved murder involves a writer played by Lily Rabe wearing an unnatural black wig. Said the lovely blond now starring in the acclaimed Merchant of Venice on Broadway, we styled this character around the hair. The real woman had a distinctive Cleopatra look. Yikes! We hardly recognized her.