If anything, The Place Beyond The Pines is not the movie you expected it to be. It's a slow moving, three tiered story that features some of today's best actors in a film that I'll be lamenting for days to come. A blend of family drama and police thriller, A Place Beyond The Pines mixes genres while presenting a slow paced story that's strong on actual character development. At times it moves with fluidity and at others it stutters while trying to decide which direction to go.That being said, it's not quite the masterpiece the previews want you to believe it is, but it's still a gripping tale of man's actions and the consequences they have on the future.
Some had expected this to serve as a companion piece to Drive. The previews were quite deliberate in showing indie go to guy Gosling driving fast on a motorcycle. In fact, A Place Beyond The Pines is quite the opposite and Gosling's character is much more fleshed out than his Drive character. The film doesn't feature any exaggerated scenes of violence and it's definitely expansive in the story department. At a running length of almost two and a half hours, director Derek Cianfrance does a wonderful job of making a movie that's nearly flawless. He draws emotionally charged performances from a plethora of experienced actors including Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta, Eva Mendes and the aforementioned Ryan Gosling.
A Place Beyond The Pines is a film that is intentionally geared towards a male audience. This is a story about sons and fathers. This is a story about friends. This is a story about the brotherhood of police. This is also a story about bonds being broken by the ones we trust most. The film has a definite message about consequential actions and how our future can be changed in an instant by the choices we make. It never preaches to its audience about a wholesome existence but instead attacks from the perspective that all choices will have some future aftermath.
If you're looking for some thought provoking material, A Place Beyond The Pines is a definite must see film. As I'm sitting here pondering the story, I just thought of various other details I hadn't quite put together when seeing the movie tonight. Take the time to see this one. You won't be disappointed.