The Place Beyond the Pines (15)

Film

Drama

The Place Beyond The Pines

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Time Out says

Tue Apr 9 2013

American independent movies are regularly compared to Bruce Springsteen songs – so much of the DNA is the same, from blue-collar angst to simmering daddy issues, from passion and heartbreak to petty crime and prison time. At a sprawling 140 minutes, the third feature from ‘Blue Valentine’ director Derek Cianfrance feels like an entire Springsteen LP, an intimate story of smalltown folk played in the soaring major key of epic multi-generational melodrama.

The first act – side one, if you like – is pure old-time rock ’n’ roll, as Ryan Gosling’s born-to-run stunt rider Handsome Luke knocks up good time girl Eva Mendes, and decides to do the right thing by staying in town. The second part is more stadium-friendly, as Bradley Cooper’s wounded cop comes face to face with corruption in his department, in the form of Ray Liotta’s bulldog precinct captain. Finally, it’s time for some earnest introspection – get the acoustic guitars out – as both men’s adolescent sons struggle to overcome their family demons.

As with ‘Blue Valentine’, writer-director Cianfrance opts for a naturalistic tone: the colours are muted, the camerawork unobtrusive and the dialogue straight and honest. His performers are mostly spot-on – as the tousled petrolhead with the faraway eyes, Gosling gets by far the flashiest role (this is going to be a huge hit with the ‘hey girl’ set), but he’s superbly backed by Mendes, and Ben Mendelsohn as a crotchety backwoods mechanic. Cooper is less compelling – much of that is down to his slippery, less relatable character – but the only real bum note is struck by young Emory Cohen as his son AJ: with his slicked-back hair and hey-yous-guys accent, Cohen seems to be auditioning for a stage-school production of ‘The Karate Kid’.

But that odd performance and a handful of minor pacing issues aside, ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is an enormously satisfying film: carefully observed and consistently compelling, it feels like an instant American classic, if a minor one. Cianfrance’s conclusions may tend towards the obvious – crime doesn’t pay, cops can be crooks, parents fuck you up – but there’s nothing wrong with an old song, so long as it’s well sung. Just ask The Boss.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Thu Apr 11, 2013

Duration:

140 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|17
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franziska oliver

...to just see a movie with excellent actors, that is unpredictable, not streamlined, not gimmicky, not plot-driven only, and one, where you don't feel the industry breathing down your back, or better..... in your face, is a relief. It's an exciting film in its honesty and realism.

sticky

Having recently returned to the UK, I really wanted to see this film. I expected it to be good or even very good but I was wrong.....it was absolutely fantastic! I was hooked throughout from the opening tracking shot of watching (from behind) Ryan Gosling walking to the very last frame. I remember thinking towards the end of the film that I just do not want this to end. The direction and script were brilliant but it was the actors for me who took it to another incredible level. Again, even whilst watching it, I started thinking first one actor has to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor at next year's Oscars then another and another. I've come out thinking that all five supporting actor slots could and probably should be filled with the main actors from this film. Completely agree with Justin, another reviewer's point about Bradley Cooper's son and the character's behaviour. It was yet another great piece of acting in this mesmerising film. An instant classic!

sticky

Having recently returned to the UK, I really wanted to see this film. I expected it to be good or even very good but I was wrong.....it was absolutely fantastic! I was hooked throughout from the opening tracking shot of watching (from behind) Ryan Gosling walking to the very last frame. I remember thinking towards the end of the film that I just do not want this to end. The direction and script were brilliant but it was the actors for me who took it to another incredible level. Again, even whilst watching it, I started thinking first one actor has to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor at next year's Oscars then another and another. I've come out thinking that all five supporting actor slots could and probably should be filled with the main actors from this film. Completely agree with Justin, another reviewer's point about Bradley Cooper's son and the character's behaviour. It was yet another great piece of acting in this mesmerising film. An instant classic!

chris jackson

my rating would be higher but as i left half an hour before the end because i was bored i am giving one star only, there were some good bits of the movie but it was very slow and didnt care by the time i left. dont understand why it gets a four star rating for m the critics .

Ian

For a film that is now in its third weekend the viewing I was at yesterday afternoon was very full and probably had as many people in it as the Iron Man 3 viewing I was at just before. I imagine many will have left as disappointed as I was at the film. In many ways I agree with Scrumpyjack's view. It starts well, in places very well but after Act 1 goes downhill fast. The police corruption story is dull and has been done better before and the third act would have been better to have been left out. It is a 4 star opening act followed by a 3 then a 2 star final act. I expected more and was disappointed. A poor 3 star film could and should have been better.

mscharlier

agree with scrumpy jack's comment I dont know why this film is getting such good reviews. The switch in the middle of the film isnt clever and just very annoying... film is unnecessarily long... the actor that plays the policeman's son - arggggh. frustrating watch to be honest. first half is gorgeous- in the acting and cinematography, it just got too ambitious. id say more but dont want to spoil it for anyone.

Paul

Yes, a really enjoyable film and night out seeing the story unpack over three acts, still thinking about the film a few days on and enjoying the music score online. Lots of lovely cinematic scenes and moments in the film that move you uncertainly to an unpredictable ending. A modern morality story that gives a new spin of 'Sins of the Father' - a must see

scrumpyjack

Never mind the son (agreed, dreadful), it's COOPER who is exposed! Taught, pacey, good looking first hour gives way to ITV 1 type Monday night fare..........AND I HATE ITV 1 MONDAY NIGHT FARE! 4/10

foreverchanges

Dull, overly-ambitious, underwhelming, in love with itself for no good reason, interminable drama. A number of own goals and missed opportunities - why the fifteen year gap? It felt that that story would have been far more interesting than anything that came before or after. No idea why Cianfrance's considered such a talent, his characters rarely have any kind of depth or redeeming feature; there's no emotional nuance, nothing to latch on to and no one to care about. Grainy photography, unsympathetic working class folk and the odd bit of casual violence do not a great director, make. It feels like a posh kid playing at being working class. And if he is from the type of background that this film mostly depicts then he has the emotional intelligence of a clown fish. Actually, that stand regardless of his background. On the plus side, the guy that played Bradley Cooper's dad was great, though woefully under used. But AJ? What a truly baffling performance. I get that he was rebelling against his neglectful dad, but he was still dreadfully acted.

critique

Earnest, sometimes ponderous drama. The first section is the most interesting. Although not an action film, the action sequences are filmed superbly.

Sutton

Good film, well acted and enjoyable. The reviewer was correct re the actor playing the son AJ - he was dreadful.

Iain

As the review suggests this film is split into three easily divided acts and I can't help but feel that the story would have been better served by being split into longer parts and shown seperatley (like Carlos from a few years ago). That said the film as it stands is an enjoyable watch and makes its points well but I did find that the second and third parts simply failed to live up to the amazing start.

Cleveland

This is one of the best films in years. It's beautifully made and every performance is great. But most of all its a brilliant story with a brilliant script. The kind of film that makes the world seem different when you leave the cinema

Cleveland

This is one of the best films in years. It's beautifully made and every performance is great. But most of all its a brilliant story with a brilliant script. The kind of film that makes the world seem different when you leave the cinema

Morley

Loved this movie. I thought it was just about bank robberies, but it had so much more. There are constant twists and surprises, and you never quite know how the movie is going to end. On top of that it was beautifully filmed and enjoyable to watch.

Justin Berkovi

Tom you didn't quite understand Bradley Cooper's son here which is integral to the plot. He was exerting a gangster persona, symbolic of his dad's neglect which made for the troubles that then ensued between the sons. A powerful, heavy and hard hitting film - mostly in it's grace and subtle portrayal of the failure of men over generations. Superbly shot, scored and realised - almost Terrence Malick like in many places. It's a good 'un.

Justin Berkovi

Tom you didn't quite understand Bradley Cooper's son here which is integral to the plot. He was exerting a gangster persona, symbolic of his dad's neglect which made for the troubles that then ensued between the sons. A powerful, heavy and hard hitting film - mostly in it's grace and subtle portrayal of the failure of men over generations. Superbly shot, scored and realised - almost Terrence Malick like in many places. It's a good 'un.