Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stunt racer who works for a travelling carnival tries to reconnect with his former lover after he finds out that she gave birth to his son. In a bid to provide and regain the trust of his new family, Luke commits a series of bank robberies that leads to drastic consequences. In a twist of fate, Luke’s story is intertwined with that of ambitious police officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), who struggles with several moral dilemmas that spur from his connection to Luke and the corruption embedded within his police department. The drama continues, as Glanton and Cross’ sons have to deal with the consequences of their fathers’ past decisions.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a heavy, serious crime/drama featuring a stellar cast including renowned Hollywood heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. I had high expectations for this movie, and boy was I not left disappointed. This isn’t a movie consisting of much dialogue, but rather one that really focuses on the actors’ portrayals of their characters. And may I say, that the acting in this movie was pretty much flawless.
If your image of Ryan Gosling is that of Noah from The Notebook (who was an absolute babe), this movie will shock you as Gosling goes for a grittier look as a bleach blonde who’s completely tatted up from head to toe (he literally has a face tattoo in this movie). Even though Gosling plays the bad-boy, you can’t help but feel drawn and somewhat sympathetic towards Luke who is essentially just a man who will go to any length to be part of his son’s life. I admit that I may have shed a tear or two in the scene where Luke is sitting in the back of a church, crying as he watches his son being baptised. Another standout performance/real shocker was just how good Bradley Cooper is in dramatic roles. Previously, I’d only seen him in the occasional rom-com and of course being absolutely hilarious in The Hangover movies, but in The Place Beyond the Pines, Cooper’s dramatic acting chops were on full display. It was amazing to see how much raw emotion he put into his character.
Overall, some people may think that The Place Beyond the Pines is a movie that is way too long, and a bit slow; but the storyline moved at a pretty fast pace, and I was surprised that the director managed to fit such a dense and complex storyline in two and a half hours. I also thought that the cinematography was great (especially in any scene in which Ryan Gosling was riding a motorbike).
My only issue with this movie was that it skimmed over the second-generation storyline a little bit. But to be honest, I found it difficult to find any other flaws.
If you’re in the mood for a massive blockbuster action or crime movie, this isn’t the one for you. The Place Beyond the Pines is a deep, dramatic film, featuring amazing actors that portray characters who deal with a lot of confronting issues. If you get emotional in movies like I do, you’ll probably be sitting in your chair welling up in tears watching this movie; and this time it won’t just be because you’re crying over how good-looking Ryan Gosling is.
The Place Beyond the Pines is out in Australian cinemas tomorrow, Thursday 9th May.
Jess @ frangipani princess