The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines ★★★★½

OK so first I'm going talk about what I loved about this film, then I'll explain why it loses the 5th star. I absolutely loved this film up until a key point where something happens that causes an abrupt change in the overall tone of the film but more on that later.

I'll start with performances. Ryan Gosling is once again fantastic. I believe he is the character he plays and he's more than convincing. Bradley Cooper after that terrific turn in Silver Linings Playbook is once again exceptional here. The supporting cast which includes such names as Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes is also solid.

The story had me completely invested through the first two acts. I even got emotional at points and all I can say about that is it's due to the fact I'm a father. The tone was simply great and I was getting that feeling I get when I'm really seeing something special. It was a 5 star film at that point easy.

Now I'll tell you about what almost brings the whole thing crashing down. I'm not sure of the exact point it happens, (I didn't check my watch) but something happens (you'll know it when you see it) that abruptly changes the pace and overall tone of the film. From that point forward it becomes very contrived and there's simply too many coincidences that feel forced. It's not that the film is bad from that point it just feels off from what happened before that key point.

Overall I really liked it though and would of loved it if not for the issues I mentioned. It had the opportunity to be the first great film of 2013, but it just loses it's way and falls into really good territory.

3/13/13 9pm EST.
After discussing this film with some fellow Letterboxers I've decided that maybe the third act wasn't as contrived as I initially thought therfore I've added a half star to my rating.

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