The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) Directed by Derek Cianfrance. With Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.
The Place Beyond the Pines stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt rider who decides to use his skills as a getaway driver to rob banks to provide for a woman and her infant. Does it sound like another Ryan Gosling film you saw recently?
Directed by Blue Valentine helmer, Derek Cianfrance, the territory we’re in here burrows much deeper into the drama than Drive and is essentially a story about repercussions and the varying complexity of the father-son relationship. Ambitious in narrative scope and with a good share of well thought out ideas, the film breathes to life with some excellent performances from a fine cast.
Gosling once again proves a hypnotic screen presence as his troubled character struggles to cope with the harsh realities of past life choices catching up with him. Gosling plays the inward struggle so effectively, that it’s hard not to fell deep sympathy for his character, even amid a catalogue of wrongdoing.
Some may argue that the film attempts to tie too neat a bow, but I found the characters and story to be strong enough to withhold the convenience of the arc and by the end, there’s plentiful strands of telling drama to digest outside of mere story structure.
A huge triumph for all involved, The Place Beyond the Pines has a DVD sleeve synopsis that might have you believe you’re about to watch Drive 2, but for those who take the plunge anyway, it’s quickly evident we’re on a very different road. 4/5