Film review: Gosling's outlaw blues run deep and dark in The Place Beyond the Pines
Friday 12 April 2013
Derek Cianfrance follows his intimate relationship drama Blue Valentine with a large-canvas triptych about crime and punishment, fathers and sons, a crisis in US manhood and the state of the nation.
But its biggest achievement is that it takes aim at these grand themes while keeping hold of the naturalism and the texture of blue-collar daily life that distinguished his previous film.
It begins with swagger: a long tracking shot through the bustle and flashing lights of a travelling carnival; the camera following close behind heavily tattooed bleach-blond stunt rider Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) as he prepares to speed his motorcycle around the inside of a metal-framed "globe of death".
Glanton is another of Gosling's strong-silent-type roles, but just by looking at him you can see that he's an adrenaline junkie who self-identifies as an outlaw. And that if you put a gun in his hand and teach him how to rob a bank, as his mechanic friend does, then things will probably not end well.
It's best not to know beforehand how Bradley Cooper's ambitious cop fits into the story, nor what will happen to the son that Glanton discovers he has fathered with waitress Romina (Eva Mendes), because the ironic twists of fate that befall its characters are one of the chief satisfactions of Cianfrance's near novelistic storytelling.
And if the visceral thrill of the early motorbikes-and-guns scenes wears off, it is a price worth paying for the fact that the story goes into areas and thinks of the consequences that other crime films just don't.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Metal detectors object to digs by Mackenzie Crook about ‘dysfunctional’ hobby in BBC4's 'Detectorists'
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'