Going beyond: Gosling excels as daredevil
by Richard Roeper
We begin the movie by following a tattoo-spangled man as he makes his way through a carnival crowd, arriving in a tent containing a few hundred cheering fans and a globe-shaped metal cage. This audacious, extended tracking shot will be familiar to fans of Martin Scorsese (and before that, Orson Welles), and it immediately tells us we are about to experience of film of considerable ambition. You don't even try to make a play like that unless you have confidence in your creative arsenal.
The man straps on his helmet and climbs on his motorcycle, and he and two other daredevils are soon zipping past and around each other inside that metal cage, racing around and around and upside down, defying gravity and all common sense.
We end the movie with another young man on another motorbike, racing to avoid his fate, blissfully unaware the path he has chosen is most likely to take him to the very place he wants to avoid. It is a final shot of heartbreaking perfection.
Shaking up the cinematic doldrums of early spring, here comes The Place Beyond the Pines, a self-confident, self-aware, almost cocky piece of filmmaking from the immensely gifted Derek Cianfrance. It is an epic film centered on pivotal moments in the lives of working-class and fringe-society types who wake up every morning and go to bed each night with the same question hanging over their heads: how are they going to make ends meet?
Few if any leading men in Hollywood have hotter careers right now than Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, but The Place Beyond the Pines is anything but a slick, dual-star vehicle...(READ FULL REVIEW)