All Good Things: Andrew (Capturing the Friedmans) Directs Docu

Why would the gifted Andrew Jarecki, who made one of the best documentaries of the past decade, the Oscar-nominated “Capturing the Friedmans,” choose to make his feature directorial debut with a fact-based tales that screams out for non-fictional treatment. Though inspired by one of the most notorious missing person’s case in New York history, “All Good Things” fails as a love story and as murder mystery.
Spanning three decades, the tale is set against the backdrop of a New York real estate dynasty in the 1970s and1980s. The film is inspired by the story of Robert Durst (played by Ryan Gosling), scion of the wealthy Durst family, headed by the dominant patriarch (Frank Langella). Mr. Durst was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Kathie (Kirsten Dunst), who disappeared in 1982 and was never found. 
The original script, developed by Jarecki, Marc Smerling, and Marcus Hinchey and co-written by Smerling and Hinchey, might have read better than what unfolds on screen, a structurally messy story that is told in such a choppy and truncated way that it never becomes emotionally involving, and you feel bad for the three central thespians.
The film tries to illuminate and then provide connections between three major events: a love affair that ends with a devastating missing-person’s case in New York City that cannot be solved; an execution-style killing in Los Angeles with no viable suspects; and a dismembered corpse set adrift in a remote Texas bay.
Durst was suspected of, but never tried for, the murder of his wife Kathie who disappeared in 1982 and was never found. To this day, despite multiple investigations and two other headline-making killings, Durst has never been convicted of a single murder and lives as a free, if haunted, man, having received $65 million to sever all ties to his family’s vast fortune. 
The story certainly has many intriguing elements and a dark, noirish sensibility in its treatment desire, family, obsession, drug addiction, and murder, but it is poorly directed and edited, resulting in a creepy but disjointed film, which jumps from one event to another but seldom jells and never finds its right mood.
 
Too bad that “All Good Things” comes out in the same month and before the release of the “other” Ryan Gosling film, the superlative drama, “Blue Valentine.” It’s the first time that I see Gosling lost in a character without ever inhabiting it. And ultimately, I fear, it might become as the movie that displayed Gosling in different hairstyles, heavy make-up and even in drag.