Reviews and Problems with The Place Beyond The Pines
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The Place Beyond the Pines
17 October 2013
Excerpt: Handsome Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a stunt motorcyclist at the circus who returns to an upstate town where he encounters a former fling (Eva Mendes), who has had his child since he was last in town. Soon after, he meets Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), a former bank robber who realizes that Luke's skills on a motorcycle can be used to rob local banks.
Excerpt: Derek Cianfrance's at once striking and jejune visual vocabulary was accurately described by Richard Brody at the time of the heroically performed Blue Valentine 's release as a brand of prefabricated poetry: "Cianfrance borrows his methods and his moods from a grab-bag of clichés. [Arnold] Schoenberg expanded music to a new world of chromaticism; Cianfrance reduces the cinema to monochrome sentiment." Not to mention monochrome ideas.
Conclusion: Few films are as exquisitely constructed and meticulously executed as 'The Place Beyond the Pines,' and though director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance's multi-layered story at times sputters and stalls, the memorable characters and potent themes carry it through. Balancing a searing directness with an understated presentation, Cianfrance weaves an intricate fabric, and produces a literate, thought-provoking work that plays even better on a second viewing.
Conclusion: The Place Beyond the Pines is a powerful ensemble drama, with outstanding performances and a carefully structured trio of riveting stories that bypass the usual interconnected-character tropes and strive for something greater; something more honest and revealing. The sins of the father are revisited upon the son in spectacularly minimalistic fashion, and a divisive, initially jarring third act is the only thing that prevents the film from resonating more.
Excerpt: One of my early picks for favorite film of this past year is also a difficult one to review. It’s not confusing, mind you, but to avoid potential spoilers, it can be tricky. I will tread the waters very carefully. The film plays out in a trilogy of stories. They are all interconnected and come full circle by the time the end credits begin to roll. The film begins with a motorcyle stunt rider as he performs a daring stunt.
Excerpt: The mythic-sounding title The Place Beyond the Pines is in fact the Mohawk name for a town often synonymous with the mundane: Schenectady, New York. Among verdant rolling hills and modest clapboard houses writer-director Derek Cianfrance unspools a large, deadly serious story about fathers and sons and generations shaped by one act of violence, like a working-class Godfather in which no one is powerful or clever enough to actually become a Don.
Excerpt: Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine was defined by an almost unbearable intimacy, an eagerness to plumb deep into the most wrenching emotions of a doomed romance, captured with raw candor and honesty. The Place Beyond The Pines, Cianfrance’s remarkable but overreaching follow-up, initially shares those qualities, as well as another riveting star turn from Ryan Gosling, who lends his soulful trick motorcycle rider turned outlaw antihero the minimalist magnetism of a young...