Directed by Derek Cianfrance, starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Dane Dehaan. A motorcycle stunt man discovers he has a child with a girl he was with one night, he decides to do something about it and events happen which seem almost fated.
Derek Cianfrance previous work includes Blue Valentine, which also starred with Gosling and you can almost feel the same vibe that Blue Valentine had in its direction and its tone. There is a clear style that he uses and a clear use of dialogue which he co writes on both films.
For me his films have a very clear tone and message, life is bleak and some events are just out of your control. Where as with Blue Valentine there was a note of humour and a romance for part of it with various moments going back to how the couple met and fell in love. The place beyond the pines is lacking that quality. It’s a stronger film, standing on the human emotions and life not always being pretty but doing what you can with what you have.
This film can be broken down into 3 parts, Gosling, Cooper and then the children and for those who have watched the film you will understand that and for those who haven’t it feels as though we are watching three different films but they are all connected by one event.
There is a feeling somewhat of false advertising, they clearly used Gosling a lot to promote this film, he is in production photos and a large part of the trailer. However he is not physically in this for long and more time is spent with Cooper and the kids.
For Gosling I don’t feel he was given that much material in order for him to struggle as a performance, I could feel a lot of his character in Drive here. No bad thing but I feel more praise should be given to Cooper as this is one of his best performances. Humour and class is something we seem to expect of him now after the Hangover and the list of comedies he has done, this role entirely focused on his other skills and abilities as an actor, he manages to perform incredibly well. With each film Cooper is growing as an actor, making amazing to watch.
Dan Dehann is an actor who has been around for years now, taking on small roles here and there, he will become more well known after next year with The amazing Spiderman 2. He is a talent to be recognised and looked for in films.
This is a very powerful and well made film, however it is very bleak and takes on a lot within the story.
OVERALL**** It is very powerful and compelling film, with three parts all equally as powerful, had it been a tad less bleak then 5 stars it would have received. Cooper is outstanding, for Gosling the role is too easy and Dehann performed well as a new generation of actors.