Overpowering. If a single word could describe this movie, that would be it. It has the script, the performances and the directing. There is nothing to miss in The Place Beyond The Pines.
With a plot that suggest something in the trailer and then turns the other way around in the actual film. Derek Cianfrance, whose most famous work before this movie was Blue Valentine (also with Ryan Gosling), writes and directs Pines with spectacular close-ups tat captivate and show pure emotion in the actor’s faces.
But most of the merit goes to its two main stars: Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.
Gosling has the most heartrending deadpan face in the present Hollywood scene: he can communicate anything with hardly speaking or gesticulating. It is also worth mentioning that he did his own motorbike stunts during the film, and the amazing scene that starts the movie shows off his skills. A single shot, it starts with Gosling’s character in his dressing room and ends up with him in the show riding his motorbike inside a giant metallic ball. Priceless,like the scenes later when he is being chased by the police. Simply astonishing.
And then there is Bradley Cooper, who has been proving this past year that he is way more than just the good-looking and charming guy from The Hangover who only makes comedies. You could imagine how he could be like after Limitless (a really good and underrated thriller, where Cooper carries the full weight of the movie hands down).
So, good supporting actors like Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne or Bruce Greenwood, but these two just make the film even better. And also worthy of mention are the two young actors who star in the last bit of the movie. They have a hard job performing after two hours of Gosling and Cooper being splendid, and they handle their part, ending at the same level of power.
There is not much more to say about it, because it would mean giving away the plot, and that is a surprise worth watching.
By the way, this song is featured in the trailer and in several moments during the film (the moments spent beyond the pines, so to speak). It is beautiful and it moves just to listen to it, especially after watching the movie.
Last comment: Just a quick warning. The film is sad. Very sad, from beginning to end…