I had the opportunity to see The Place Beyond the Pines last night. I was quite surprised that I was able to find it at my local theater. They don’t always show limited release films in my area, so I am glad I was able to see this. From the trailer I was really looking forward to seeing this film, the cast alone would make me want to see it.
I try to keep the *spoilers* limited but this does include some.
I really enjoyed how the movie basically told 3 stories surrounding a group of people that ultimately brought them together. It was a story of empathy, emotion & guilt.
The 1st was centered on Luke, a driver for a carnival globe of death. Your typical loaner honestly, didn’t talk much was quiet and to himself. Who only hours before leaving town found out he has a child with a former flame (Mendes). You watched Luke just completely transform into a different person for his child for the good and the bad.
The 2nd was around the hero Avery (Cooper) who was an emotionally charged character that you could feel for. Whether it was the ups of watching him blackmail the police department or the downs when you felt the emotional scenes of realizing he took a kids father.
The 3rd was centered on the children of Avery & Luke, where you watched the story just all come together. AJ was the teenage son of Avery who now is running for public office and is in the watchful eye. But AJ was far from the good child whether it was the partying or the drugs he couldn’t stay out of trouble. Then there was Jason who kind of like his dad was a loaner and just out there.
The cast really worked out well for me, Ryan Gosling is one of my favorite actors. He kind of played off his daredevil like approach he had in Drive. Soft spoken, laid back but when the time was right he went off.
The Scenes between Luke & Robin (Gosling & Mendelsohn) were very enjoyable at times. Including the night before the 1st bank robbery they had one of my favorite quotes of the movie. Luke said: “Not since Hall & Oates has there been such a team.”
Bradley Cooper showed off some acting ability that you are rare to see from him. Some of his films I think he plays the good-looking guy, which he does a good job getting by with just that. But the last two films of his (Silver Linings the other) he has really come a long way. I felt emotionally attached to his character, you felt bad for the guy at the same time you were pissed at him.
The Score, boy was this good. Mike Patton did a brilliant job of making each scene seem so much more than it was. It was truly captivating at times how in sync the score and the film were.
This was my first Derek Cianfrance picture and thought he directed a very good picture. From scene to scene this was a really solid picture, very well written as well.
The bank robbery scenes were very good and I also liked the escape route as well. The driving the bike into the back of the truck was great.
I didn’t really feel the chemistry between Gosling and Mendes; I think they could’ve gotten a better actress for this role. I wasn’t big on her in the film at all.
I think the final act was carried on a bit too long; they could’ve easily shaved 15 minutes off this film.
MAJOR SPOILER IF YOU READ ON
I hated Luke’s final scene, not a fan at all. I thought his death could’ve been more meaning full, I know it set up the rest of the movie. But I think there could’ve been more to it.