The Place Beyond The Pines is an ambitious epic that spans across three different stories that connect with one another. Director Derek Cianfrance re-teams with Ryan Gosling after the excellent Blue Valentine, as Luke Glanton, a travailing stunt motorcycle driver living day to day. He is visited by a former lover Romina (Eva Mendes) and finds out he has a baby son. Deciding we wants to provide for his child and salvage his relationship with his mother, he stays behind but with no means of a decent income, he learns that robbing banks is a lot more profitable. The other plot follows a young police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Copper) with high ambitions and a baby son of his own. Just as he is injured in the line of duty, he becomes a local town hero however after taken of active duty he is exposed to corruption within his fellow officers. These two different stories are all brought together by its third tale of two teenagers (Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan) who are both from different sides of the of the tack but are both struggling to find themselves.
Gosling is as charismatic as ever a daredevil racer with a dangerous side to him but it’s Bradley Copper who is the most impressive. e In his performance that is naturalistic and convincing, he displays more range than his usual comedic roles. With the third and final Hangover film due this summer, may very well bookend those type of films leaving more roles like this one and Limitless and Silver Linings Playbook that demonstrate his dramatic chops as an actor. Ray Liotta is fantastically intimidating that when pared with his bum out of luck gangster in Killing Them Softly, you’ll see just what a great actor he is. The rest of the cast are strong with the likes of Rose Byrne as Avery’s troubled wife, Bruce Greenwood as an inquisitive internal affairs officer, Mahershala Ali as the stepfather to Luck’s child and Ben Mendelsohn as a local mechanic who shows Luke the ropes when it comes to robbing banks . Every characters here is well rounded and well written that it makes this film so engaging.
It’s runs in at two hours twenty minutes and does feel long but not over stretched telling its story. The cinematography by Sean Bobbitt looks both gritty and real and yet beautiful at the same time when matched with its subtle and at times grand score by Mike Patton (Yes him of Faith No More). Cianfrance previous film Blue Valentine was all about it’s two leads and their fancstic performances and nothing else. Here very thing is taken into account and for a second effort at feature film, it’s very impressive and I can’t wait to see what he does next.