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Guillermo del Toro Analyzes David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac,’ Proves It’s One of the Best Films in ‘Recent Memory’

Guillermo del Toro spent much of the weekend tweeting about his adoration for the David Fincher serial killer drama.



March 2 marked the 10 year anniversary of David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” and numerous publications spent last week honoring the film as one of the great masterworks of modern cinema. But perhaps the best tribute came from none other than Guillermo del Toro, who spent most of the weekend tweeting up a storm about just how much he adores Fincher’s procedural drama. He ranked “Zodiac” #1 on his list of the best movies Fincher has ever made, saying he watches it “at least twice a year.”

Del Toro also launched an epic twitter thread in which he analyzed the movie in 13 tweets, bringing attention to the way it operates far more deeply than any film that has been released in “recent memory.”

READ MORE: The New Classics: David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’

“Every great movie works at many levels,” he wrote. “Some are evident: the dramaturgy (writing, plot, character, structure), image crafting and sound as storytelling tools, staging/editing and acting, but then the truly great movies have deeper roots. In the case of ‘Zodiac,’ all the formal elements become quasi-hypnotic…it lulls you into a different world and takes what was real and makes it symbolic. It puts you in a trance-like state that makes everything operate at a deeper level.”

“Zodiac” chronicles the manhunt to capture the notorious serial killer of the same name who killed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The script details the efforts made by journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle and inspectors at the San Francisco Police Department. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. star.

Click the first tweet below to read del Toro’s entire thread.

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While I admire “Zodiac” for its craft and some outstanding scenes, there is nothing ‘perfect’ about this movie, sorry…even the slightly better Director’s Cut is not a ‘masterpiece’ by a mile.
The screenplay and pacing doesn’t quite work, because it’s sometimes boring. But what’s even worse for a ‘true crime’ feature – that prides itself in its realism and ‘factual accuracy’ – there are a shocking amount of fictitious and made-up elements in it.
Read the careful analysis online by Michael Butterfield, one of the leading ‘Zodiac case’ experts: “FACT vs. FINCHER: The Only Movie Review That Matters” It’s eye opening. It will make you see the movie with different eyes & you’ll learn a lot about the complexity of the real case.
There’s simply not much ‘right’ about this movie when you expect a fairly correct re-telling of the Zodiac case. As a pure piece of cinema, yes, it’s hypnotic sometimes. But as history Fincher’s “Zodiac” is garbage.

Mike D

The “complexity of the real case” is irrelevant. The filmmaking isn’t.


    No, Mike, facts are not “irrelevant” when you claim to produce a film based on real events. “Zodiac” does everything possible to give the audience the (false) impression, that it’s true to what happened. But it isn’t. The screenwriter, who wrote gems like “White House Down”, too, takes too many liberties with the Zodiac case and suggests a possible killer, who is not a real suspect for good reasons. Just read Michael Butterfields ‘fact check’ of Fincher’s movie, it’s very interesting indeed. The Zodiac case was much more fu*ked up and complicated than the movie shows…the screenplay is poor.

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