There is no question that two of the most sought after actors in the business right now are Ryan Gosling and recent Academy Award nominee, Bradley Cooper. So it only makes sense that the two would sooner than later, meet up in a film. It just so happens it is the recent release of writer/director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond The Pines. This teams up Cianfrance and Gosling for the first time since 2010’s Blue Valentine which further enhanced Gosling’s rapidly emerging talent. Bradley Cooper is fresh of his first Oscar nomination shows no signs of changing his M.O. and taking on challenging and interesting projects.
The Place Beyond The Pines is the story of a career criminal and motorcycle stunt driver who recently discovers he has a son he never knew about and decides to turn to the world of bank robbery to support his son. This life soon puts him on a collision course with rookie cop Avery Cross, the son of a supreme court justice. The twos brief conflict will then send shockwaves thru theirs and those they love’s lives that will have lasting consequences for years to come. With a story that takes several different turns and attacks several different tones, from thriller to drama and almost back to thriller once again, Cianfrance develops a truly captivating story that has you questioning it’s direction and ability at times but has you pulled in to it so deeply, you have to know what the next move is. There is no predictability to this project and you are left with feeling that nothing is off limits as far as outcome.
Cianfrance delivers every feeling and anticipation that can be brought to a film. With a story that dips and dives and despite the near 2 1/2 hour run time seems to fly by and even has the tendency to leave you with a wanting of more closure than is given. It’s perfectly crafted and performances are expertly delivered which may just become to be Derek’s true ability as a director.
Many will have been on such an emotional ride throughout this film that it may even leave some angry. As odd as that sounds it has an unexplained quality that many just won’t understand. It’s a film that needs digesting and multiple re-watch’s before one can fully get what is supposed to be drawn form the film. What is to be drawn from the movie is left up to the film watcher. Having so many elements and unspoken thoughts that are to be detected by the movie goer, the film is what you decide it to be.
Cooper shows his Oscar nomination was no fluke with such a strong performance as a man struggling for years with a split second decision and how to make your life make that decision the right one. Gosling’s time on screen is rife with haunting love. He has the unseen ability to go back and for from villain to hero on multiple scales.
Up and comer Emory Cohen turns in a performance that will undoubtedly push him further into the spotlight and garner him praise, assuming he keeps on the talented path he is currently blazing for himself.
The Place Beyond The Pines is not a film for the fair weather movie goer but for the film lover. One who loves the art of story telling and film making will find a gem with this movie. Others will dismiss it as a film full of itself and unnecessary. One thing is for sure it will leave everyone changed in the end from their view of the normal story telling movie.