The Place Beyond the Pines, with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper & Eva Mendes. Director, Derek Cianfrance. Though I’ve never been to Schenectady, NY, I’ve heard about it & I have a lovely Facebook friend that lives there. Surprisingly, it seems to be a pleasant place, for the most part, & is the setting for the story of police corruption, ambition, a meaningless life & the beginning of a journey.
Avoiding any trailers, I expected a tale of romance & angst with a goal of some conclusion including a haven at the end of someone’s bad scene. Well, it wasn’t all that.
Gosling broods as a dirt bike, drifter working for a carnival that circles around every once in a while. He’s always interesting to me. I still haven’t decided if there’s anything going on in his noggin, but directors seem to know how to use blank stares to their advantage. I would say he’s over-rated, but that might be a bit extreme. My suspicion is that he’s somewhere in between a good talent & a moron. He’s popular with the ladies; however, & is a big name now, sort of. His salary would be enormous, at any rate.
Cooper is a favorite of mine & his role as a beat cop in a tired New York town is, at first, a little exhausted but picked up to carry the day. I would suggest patience, as this tale begins oddly, turns into something that might be about gosh darn police corruption, but turns around into a multiple morality play, ending with no morality but fate. Take it or leave it.
Mendes seems to tie everything together & is the quiet but standout talent.
I recommend this film because it doesn’t bore one for too long before the realization hits that, it’s actually a fantastic movie & unpredictable enough to keep the interest.