The Place Beyond The Pines *****

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Run time: 141 mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: A Sideshow stunt rider Luke (Gosling) meets Romina (Mendes), who he discovers is now mother to a son he never knew he had. Luke decides the quickest way to provide for his son is to become a bank robber.

 

Director Derek Cianfrance reunites with Ryan Gosling after his stunning romantic feature, Blue Valentine.

 

This time Cianfrance focuses on father issues and breaking up of families in this slow paced film that follows different characters in each of the three acts in the film.

 

The first act follows Gosling’s character from discovering that he is a father to planning bank robberies in order to provide for him. The second involves Bradley Cooper’s heroic cop who is caught in the middle of a situation when he discovers that his colleagues are corrupt. The final part goes full circle when Cooper’s son meets Gosling’s kid.

 

An intricate and ambitious piece of cinema, which over a 17 year period brings together two different social generations into one movie. The narrative goes between a traditional American epic drama and a Greek tragedy.

 

The first two acts are believable and realistic in tone. In the third act the story descends into a path, which involves the audience taking a step back and believing in the coincidence of these two characters meeting. The final stage almost has a dreamlike quality to the drama.

 

Storytelling is enhanced by a variety of performances from a talented cast. Gosling gives a mesmerising turn playing a complex moody individual, by using looks rather than aggressive actions.

 

Cooper is also memorable as a man caught between ethics and loyalty. The two leads are supported by a great cast including Ray Liotta, Eva Mendes and Rose Byrne.

 

A haunting, memorable beautifully made piece of cinema, but feels slightly flawed and strained towards the finale. However the film will leave a lasting impression on the audience.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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