The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines - Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Robert Clohessy

The Place Beyond the Pines: a trilogy of stories surrounding a cop, a robber, and their kids. Firstly, the casting director should be put down; nobody here is doing anything new. Gosling (complete with gratuitous torso shot) is a lovable-but-flawed boyfriend, Cooper is a smart and ambitious over-achever, DeHaan as a creepy weirdo kid and Liotta as a bent cop, Mendelsohn as a petty low-life criminal – fuck me sideways, it’s like a cast made of characters from other films. While the three plot threads are connected, they are more akin to three completely separate stories. It has a painfully Indie/Arthouse slant to it; this means it’s OK to have excruciatingly long cuts of people riding bikes and cars down roads, and to casually drop in to the lives of ‘everyday people’. And once the ’15 years later’ title appears you know exactly where this is heading, so to take another 40 minutes feels rather greedy. More generally, it’s also hard keeping up with where you are on a timeline – sure, it’s chronological but one scene will jump a day, others weeks, some months with no indication. Over the 17 or so years all we as the audience get is all of the melodrama – in a film that is nothing like the bank-job / heist / action film the trailer suggests. I genuinely don’t understand the hype surrounding director Derek Cianfrance, but he got one thing right – calling this ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ – which tells you everything you need to know about it – too long, very vague, and painstaikingly tedious. By the last act, it felt more like the NeverEnding Story.

Score: 3/10

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12 comments
  1. If you are into crime drama movies and you are into the indie scene then by all means see this film. Nice review.

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  2. Great review. Saw this last night and had a hard time reconciling it with what was described in all those glowing, fan-boy reviews. Moderately interesting idea presented within a painfully predictable and totally deterministic framework. I’d watch Brad and Ryan in almost anything, but Eva Mendes is the one who really deserves the plaudits for making so much of a woefully underwritten role. Memo to Derek Cianfrance: you’re not nearly as brilliant as you think you are. I’d rather watch Antonioni . . .

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Damn right: don’t understand how ONE guy with only TWO proper films can have so much hype around him. Was just so, so bored during this.

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  3. I haven’t seen this yet, but I suspect your impressions will mirror my own.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      I would say “I’m looking forward to your review”, but that means you’d have to watch it. But then it would make a good review… Tough decision.

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  4. It’s great to see a noncomformist for a film that’s gotten so much praise. And a film with an exceptional cast and a director. I enjoyed reading this writeup here. I probably will see this at some point, though; I just have a bit more preemptive skepticism going for me.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Thanks man. No point in going with the consensus if you genuinely think it’s no use.

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  5. great review. Couldn’t agree more. From all the hype surrounding it, I though it would blow me away. But nothing to remember. and that pacing made it feel like a 3 hour movie. you can only put up with so much nothing in life.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Probably says more about me than the movie but all I really recall (even a few months after) is Ms Mendez’s cheeky mole, and lovely upper-body!

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      • She is one very memorable lady. She is still my favourite part of the other guys. Lovely!

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        • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

          Even as a Grandma?

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          • Even then.

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