Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)- An American Mosaic (3 Stars)

Last year The Place Beyond the Pines premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was picked up by Focus Features, but they chose not to release it until the desolate early April. I wrote an article discussing the film's Oscar potential, and I was going blind without seeing it.

Now I've finally seen it, and I can easily say that there are many things that work in the film. Gosling is good as a robber, but Bradley Cooper as a terrific as a cop-turned-D.A. Derek Cianfrance's shooting style is certainly eclectic, but that's not even the best part.

The film succeeds based on its large canvas. There are three storylines that intersect throughout the film: Gosling's robber, Bradley Cooper's cop, and Dane DaHaan as Gosling's kid meeting Cooper's kid. Surprisingly, the third chapter about the teenagers is the film's longest storyline, and probably the best. DaHaan and co-lead Emory Cohen are effortless in their performances, in the best way possible.

The film is confined to perfection due to its vulgar (and somewhat stupid sounding) screenplay, and a somewhat smug quality that makes the film feel better than it is. The film and its characters are so self-contained, it's like these are the most important people in the world.

The Place Beyond the Pines is still one of the better movies to come out in early 2013. Just not a Best Picture contender.

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