A 'Beyond' Extraordinary Piece of Filmmaking
The Place Beyond The Pines is without a doubt, one of the best most flawless movies I've seen in quite some time. It is a triumphant exercise in how actions and consequences affect the lives of those around us.
The Place Beyond The Pines is about a travelling motorcycle stunt rider named Luke (Ryan Gosling) who reunites with an old flame of his named Romina (Eva Mendes) and realizes she is mothering his child. Once he finds out, he decides to quit the stunt riding gig and provide for his family. In order to do so, he takes up bank-robbing and becomes followed by a rookie cop-turned-politician named Avery (Bradley Cooper).
What I Liked About It:
Where do I begin here? I loved everything: the acting, the direction, the story, the beautiful scenery, etc. I loved how the film is essentially three different stories: The first one deals with Luke, the second one deals with Avery after his pursuit of Luke, and the final one shifts over 15 years later with both Avery and Luke's sons wrestling with the legacies they've inherited.
Ryan Gosling delivers a solid performance as Luke, and Bradley Cooper delivers the best performance in the entire film as Avery. In this film, Cooper really showcases his dramatic acting chops and proves why he is one of the best actors working today, and not just a handsome face. Eva Mendes gives her best performance to date as Romina, Luke's longlost love interest torn between her child's father and her loyalty to her husband. But a few actors that also really stood out were Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Luke's friend Robin who is a former bank robber with a heart of gold, and Dane DeHaan, who plays an older version of Luke's son Jason, who longs for the truth about his father, but struggles to grasp it when he finds out.
Another thing I really liked about this marvelous film was the direction. This is the first film I've seen from Derek Cianfrance, who also did Blue Valentine, which I haven't seen yet, but when I watched this film, I fell in love with how he directed it. Plus, the scenery, which was in upstate New York, which isn't far from where I live, was gorgeous.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, The Place Beyond The Pines is a stunningly flawless epic dealing with themes of redemption, consequences, love, anger, father-son relationships, and most importantly, legacy. I would recommend it to anybody I know as I feel it is noy only a fantastic film, but a rather important film.