9. Ben Affleck & Rosamund Pike Give Career-Best Performances
As with practically every Fincher film, the casting is immaculate from top to bottom, and as a married couple without a firm handle on their relationship, Affleck and Pike are simply magnificent. Affleck is rarely lauded for his acting chops, yet his work here as Dunne isn't merely a competent every-man job, it's a complex, nuanced portrayal of a flawed man who is nevertheless easy to root for. Nick's exasperation with his situation matches that of the viewer's, and as the captain of the ship, he is immensely successful at keeping audiences captivated. Still, if the film has any awards prospects acting-wise, the hope unquestionably lies with Pike, who near-instantly elevates herself to the A-list here with a multi-faceted performance that's difficult to talk much about. Needless to say, it's a demanding part, one which Pike nails with all of the complexity that it commands, and though the Best Actress Oscar field is a notoriously tough one to break, she'll certainly be an underdog to root for in the coming months.
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