Monday, August 19, 2013

Spotlight: The Place Beyond the Pines (Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta)

The highly anticipated new drama from director Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine") powerfully explores the consequences of motorcycle rider Luke's (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) fateful decision to commit a crime to support his child. The incident renders him targeted by policeman Avery (Golden Globe Award nominee Bradley Cooper), and the two men become locked on a tense collision course which will have a devastating impact on both of their families in the years following.

Ryan Gosling (Gangster Squad, The Ides of March, Drive) as Luke Glanton
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Silver Linings Playbook, Limitless) as Avery Cross
Eva Mendes (Girl in Progress, Holy Motors, The Other Guys) as Romina
Ray Liotta (The  Devil’s in the Details, Killing Them Softly, The Details) as Peter Deluca
Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Trespass, Killer Elite) as Robin Van Der Zee
Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class, Bridesmaids, Insidious) as Jennifer
Mahershala Ali (Predators, Crossing Over, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Kofi
Bruce Greenwood (The Summit, Star Trek, The Challenger) as Bill Killcullen
Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Kill Your Darlings, Jack & Diane) as Jason
Emory Cohen (Four, The Hungry Ghosts, Afterschool) as AJ Cross
Harris Yulin (Nikita, My Soul to Take, The People Speak) as Al Cross
Robert Clohessy (Oz, Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods) as Chief Weirzbowski
Olga Merediz (Changing Lanes, K-Pax, Evita) as Malena

This is an astounding film; the way it sets itself up and progresses through its plot is just perfect. Save for the length, being nearly two and a half hours long, it hits everything the story wanted to tell. The fact that the movie is basically three stories sort of relieves this issue. For a Ryan Gosling fan, I wasn’t really into his character in this movie. I think this had to do with his voice, as the annoying voice cracking that happened during his bank robbing scenes just made them feel so hilarious and not serious in the slightest. In any movie that is more serious than his comedy films, Bradley Cooper, is always impressive. Eva Mendes was pretty good in this, but I felt she wasn’t in the movie as much as she could have been. It was either that or I wasn’t paying attention. Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan are great at acting like teenaged gangsters but when they start getting into more serious scenes, they really know how to act. If you have two and a half hours to spare, you should watch this as it tells a great story. It is an incredible film and tells an epic story of family legacy and moral choices.

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