Published on May 16, 2013 | by Ellen Thomas

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The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

What is the place beyond the pines? Perhaps Ryan Gosling can inform us. [Flickr: TomPhilibeck]

AS HOLLYWOOD’s hottest commodity right now it’s hard for Ryan Gosling to put a film-foot wrong. His latest film, from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, sees him play an intense, troubled and brooding man, something we have come to learn as Gosling at his best.

The film is surprisingly split into two narratives, surprising because the film is actually heavily marketed with Gosling in the leading role when we don’t actually see him after the first hour. Gosling plays Luke Ganton, a motorbike stunt rider from the wrong side of the tracks who, upon finding out he has a son with an old fling Romina (Eva Mendes), sets off robbing banks in a misguided attempt to provide for his family.

Ganton’s fate quickly becomes entwined with a police officer, Avery (Bradley Cooper), who he runs into after a bank job. This chance encounter then paves the way for the rest of the story to be about Avery and how this meeting affects his life. Eventually, the latter part of the film then focuses on the lives of both Avery’s and Ganton’s sons and how their father’s lives took bearing on their own.

The central theme of the film is essentially the relationship between a father and his son and how it is affected and determined by nature versus nurture, but it is not approached in a traditional manner. Cianfrance constantly keeps you on your toes and keeps you guessing throughout the whole film. He builds suspense in all of the right places whilst including enough tender and sentimental moments to keep the characters relatable and human.  All in all it is a film definitely worth watching with stellar performances from its entire A-list cast.

 

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