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.