The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The first 50 minutes of this movie was absolutely perfect. Ryan Gosling is PERFECT, and then they KILLED HIM. God, why?! Why do you do this to me?!!

This movie was amazing, a bit melodramatic, but most of the time it earns it. I’m being a little dramatic over Ryan Gosling, but once he dies this turns into a different movie, then it turns into another movie after that. Luckily they’re both really good as well, but the Ryan Gosling portion is definitely the peak. Even the filmmaking feels like it loses some steam once he’s gone, maybe that was intentional(?). Bradley Cooper was really good during his section, and the emotional throughline between the first two parts is rock solid, unfortunately once it jumps to the third part, it just turns into mushy nothing. The two kids were good, I don’t even know their names (Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan. Shit. I should probably know that last one), and they pull off pretty great performances admittedly. It just isn’t their movie. Eva Mendes and Mahershala Ali are WASTED in this. Especially Eva, her character was really interesting, and they invested a lot of time into her, just for her to completely drift off into the realm of supporting role. That was a fuckin bummer. 

The crowning achievement here (other than Ryan Gosling, holy fucken shit) is definitely the cinematography. The visuals in this are INSANE. Such a gorgeous movie. The camera work, specifically in the Gosling section, is nothing less than enthralling, captivating, and visceral. The opening scene tracking shot of Gosling making his way through the carnival, into his tent, onto his bike, and then performing in the globe of death was cinematic ecstasy. The chase sequence that leads to Gosling’s death is similarly orgasmic. I would bump this up a half-star just for the cinematography, but it doesn’t stick the landing in the end. Boy, was it a fun ride though. 

Handsome Luke, indeed.

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