The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines ★★★★½

'If you ride like lightning, you're going to crash like thunder.'

After watching The Place Beyond the Pines, and after recognizing that it's obviously split in three seperate acts, I think it is appropriate to review every part on its own. I have never done this before, so I am quite curious about how it will turn out. To all of you who haven't seen this movie yet, there might be some spoilers.

MAIN CHARACTER: Luke (Ryan Gosling)
Honestly, I have no words for the first part of this movie. It's absolutely phenomenal. Already the opening scene, where Cianfrance showed his unique talent by introducing our main character Luke in a brilliant planned sequence, had me intrigued. From there, I couldn't get my eyes of the screen. Whether it's the brilliant scenes between Luke and Romina, the intense bank heists or the "family" scenes between Luke, Romina and Jason. Every scene, every frame in this first part was perfectly done. Additionally, we got some of the most brilliant performances I've seen in a long time from Ryan Gosling and Ben Mendelsohn. Especially Ryan Gosling acted as if his life depended on it. It was truly one of the best performanes I've seen from him. The first part of The Place Beyond the Pines feels like a rollercoaster ride I'll never forget.

MAIN CHARACTER: Avery (Bradley Cooper)
Unfortunately, the rollercoaster slows down significantly in the second act, and for a few minutes I was afraid that the second act couldn't stand against the first act. Fortunately, I was convinced otherwise. Although it had a bit of a rough start, the second part picked up speed when Avery and his police colleagues decided to get the robbed money from Luke's bank heist for their own amusement. From there, Bradley Cooper showed his great talent, playing a torn cop that is trying to remedy his injustice by commiting another. The second act of The Place Beyond the Pines is a great tale about forgive and forget, and it also perfectly criticizes the abysses of the American police system.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Jason (Dane DeHaan), AJ (Emory Cohen)
In contrast with many other reviewers around here, I had one hell of a time with the third act, and I think the new-introduced characters gave the movie a fresh impulse. Especially Jason was a interesting young guy, and, although his first meeting with AJ may seem a bit too coincidential, I really liked the chemistry between the two friends. Also, the third act offered a few brilliant scenes, and especially the house party scene was very well done. Furthermore, the ending was quite emotional and thought-provoking.
RATING: 4.5/5

All in all, I have to say that, with The Place Beyond the Pines, director Derek Cianfrance created a modern classic. The performances are top-notch, the cinematography is absolutely stunning, the soundtrack is wonderful, and the interveawing of the three storylines is very well-excecuted. I simply loved this movie.

P.S.: Every movie ending with a song by Bon Iver instantly goes into my all-time favourites. Excellent choice, Mr. Cianfrance.

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