Movie Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

I hadn’t bothered to read up about this film because I figured it had Ryan Gosling with no shirt and tattoos, what more did I need to know. So I started watching with no expectations.

How rare to find a fully formed, beautifully crafted film; a film someone has loved and nurtured into reality. Not just a bunch of random words thrown onto a page, said by a bunch of “actors” with little interest in what they are saying and pulled together by a production team who appear to not at all be interested in the end result.

This film is long and usually I find this a point of contention. If you can’t say it in ninety minutes, don’t bother. But this is an investment in time worth making.

The turns in the story are not at all what I expected and each shocked me yet made the film so much richer.

All the performances were excellent.
Ryan Gosling’s early scene with the baby hurt my heart. Bradley Cooper can act, who knew. Lots of great supporting cast…obvioisly helped by an excellent script and sublime production values.

(Mr Gosling’s shirtlessness was merely a small cherry on top of what is an utterly delicious cake of a film…not the highlight I was expecting it to be. I’m not knocking it in case you think I’ve gone all high brow.)

An added bonus is the strong soundtrack by Mike Patton (of the magnificent voice from Faith No More). I’d been wondering what he’d been up to all these years.

Overall you could say it’s an essay on fatherhood. It’s also about destiny and the strange tricks of connection life likes to play with us all.


Prelude: NYC

In 24 hours I’ll be on my way to the airport for the much anticipated trip to New York with my besties. I can’t believe it’s taken this long to be here and I can’t believe it’s actually here.

It’s amazing how life can change in a short period of time. A few months ago when McNulty dropped a missile onto my life I didn’t see how I’d be able to go on this trip and enjoy it. It just didn’t seem possible.

Then the dust settled and the future started to seem not only possible but bright. I knew this trip would be just what I had imagined and what I needed.

But life wasn’t finished playing little games with me. Two weeks ago I met someone who really shook me up, made me feel things I hadn’t felt for a long time, made me laugh, made me purely happy. I couldn’t be more surprised (I might get that put on a t-shirt, life has been constantly throwing surprises at me lately).

It’s obviously too early to tell where it’s all going and what it all means. And I’m trying hard not to do my usual thing of over thinking everything. But right now, as I finish packing for New York, I feel like I’ll be leaving a tiny bit of my heart in Sydney with a man with a sad predilection for tracky daks.