Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Dark Filmmaker, David Fincher!

The fact that you're a Virgo makes ... so much sense.

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David Fincher turns 58 years old today, and while him being a Virgo makes … a lot of sense, let’s talk about why he’s truly one of our greatest directors out there. From Fight Club to Gone Girl and, my personal favorite, Zodiac, his films always have a way of showing the darkness in human nature while still, somehow, bringing jokes to life and showing us life through a sepia-tone lens.

The thing about Fincher is that everyone has a favorite. I’ve previously written about what your favorite Fincher movie says about you (from my perspective), because he’s the kind of director that lends himself to very dedicated fans. To be honest, after Zodiac, it is hard for me to nail down a second fave. Gone Girl is up there, but he just makes great movies that somehow terrify audiences while also making us laugh and think. It’s a hard balance, and he’s mastered it.

The best way to describe his movies is “bringing to life messed up stories and also real-life events with the driest sense of humor.” Fincher’s movies are funny and they’re light, but then a lot of times, they’re filled with murder, backstabbing, or completely being thrown for a loop when the twist comes in.

From his work on Mindhunter to any of this filmography, there is something about his work that just … weirdly calms me? Like, it doesn’t make any sense because I DO get quite anxious after rewatching Zodiac or The Social Network, but they’re also comfort movies. Can anyone explain?

Maybe that’s just the charm of a Fincher property. You don’t know why you want to keep watching it, but you do and you’ll defend it to the ends of the Earth. Trust me, if you were on Tumblr in 2010, you probably saw a lot of teenagers screaming about The Social Network, or even now, there are gifsets of Amy Dunne from Gone Girl.

His work just speaks to people, no matter how messed up the stories are, and that’s why he’s one of my favorite filmmakers. I wouldn’t fight people over Zodiac for no reason.

So, Twitter took to sharing their love of the director for his birthday because like I said, people love Fincher.

So, happy birthday to David Fincher. If you want to release Zodiac as the five-hour film you thought about, I’d gladly sit and watch the entire thing over and over again.

(image: Paramount Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.