Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Place Beyond the Pines - DVD Review

Starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Dane Dehaan, Emory Cohen, Bruce Greenwood, Mahershala Ali, Harris Yulin, Ben Mendelsohn and Robert Clohessy. Directed by Derek Cianfrance.


Ryan Gosling's been playing a lot of screwed-up guys lately. It must feed some need inside him. I picture him with a summer cabin with a torture room in the basement.

Here he plays a desperate father who turns to bank robbery to provide for his son.  His path will eventually cross with Bradley Cooper, a cop with a young son of his own.  We see their story for the first two-thirds of the movie, and I enjoyed every aspect of that.

Then it flash-forwards sixteen years to follow the sons, and we see how the choices of the fathers have affected their sons, and here's where the movie went a little sideways for me. It puts together some events that felt too contrived, and it took me out of the movie. There's a real cinema-verite vibe going on with it, and overall I liked it. I just thought the last third weakened the power from the first two acts.

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