Derek Cianfrance follows up his brilliant Blue Valentine with The Place Beyond the Pines, a film bigger in scope that also stars Ryan Gosling.
Gosling plays Luke, a motorcycle stunt guy who finds out he has a kid. Problem is, the kid is the product of a one-night stand, and the mom (Eva Mendes) has moved on.
Luke resorts to robbing banks, which culminates in a meeting with a rookie cop, Avery, played by Bradley Cooper. The film then focuses on Cooper’s character for a segment before dealing with the kids of Luke and Avery (played by Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen) when they are teens. The two young actors match their adult counterparts with strong performances.
The movie is long but never boring, and it crackles most when Gosling is onscreen. This is all about the sins of the fathers, and Cianfrance presents the story in a way that resonates. He interweaves a lot of characters, and they all get proper coverage.
The Blu-ray serves as an antidote for the latest Gosling film, Only God Forgives, which is terrible. (Gosling was in Gangster Squad as well, so his 2013 has resulted in more bad than good.) Apparently he’s now taking a little break from films. I blame Gangster Squad.
Special Features: You get some deleted and extended scenes, a Cianfrance commentary and a look behind the scenes.