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THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES – Mike Patton

April 15, 2013 2 comments

theplacebeyondthepinesOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Place Beyond the Pines is a crime drama directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta. Set in Schenectady, New York, over a 20-year period, the film is a riveting drama about fathers and sons, and the ramifications that the actions of one generation can have on the next. Gosling stars as motorcycle daredevil Luke Glanton, who turns to a life of crime robbing banks in order to provide for his baby son, Jason, and the mother, Romina (Mendes), who accepts Luke’s help only reluctantly. Luke’s increasing desperation brings him into contact with Avery Cross (Cooper), a Schenectady cop with a family history of running for political office, who is dealing with a shaky marriage to his wife Jennifer (Byrne) and a young son named AJ, pressure from his own father, and his own discovery of corruption among his colleagues. The film takes some unexpected twists and turns in its second half – which I won’t reveal here – suffice to say that Cianfrance’s measured direction and languid pacing allows the film to develop into a slow-burning familial drama that is both hypnotic and engrossing, especially as the true depth of the generational secrets are revealed. Read more…