The Place Beyond The Pines [DVD] [2013]

The Place Beyond The Pines [DVD] [2013]

Summary

Classical themes--of fate and fatherhood, ambition and inheritance, revenge and regret--lie at the heart of The Place Beyond The Pines, Derek Cianfrance's marathon crime drama about three generations of mid-tier American life. Ryan Gosling brings his trademark mythic cool to the central role of 'Handsome Luke' Glanton, a drifting stunt-bike rider who rolls into town only to lose Eva Mendes and his young son to a steady middleclass breadwinner. Tortured by male instinct, Luke puts his biking skills to work in a string of bank heists, raising enough cash to skip town in search of a better life for his family. In his way is Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a straight-arrow cop whose sympathies for Gosling's right to fatherhood are a wellspring of his own parental guilt. Fate is a plague on both their houses: Luke and Avery are prisoners of their inheritance, and are in turn the defining force in their sons' destinies, which--after an innocent adolescent friendship--separate explosively along family lines. The rival sides are neatly backlit by the town of Schenectady--a fading photograph of late-night diners, white churches and leafy graveyards, and whose translated Mowhawk name gives the film its title. It's a small stage for an epic drama, with nowhere for Avery's political ambition and Luke's local celebrity to co-exist peacefully in the present or in the past. Male introspection and bruised machismo come easily to Gosling and Cooper, and--with crackling support from Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn and Emory Cohen--The Place Beyond The Pines is both a heavyweight crime thriller and a postcard from small-town America in all its pain and beauty. --Leo Batchelor

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The Place Beyond The Pines [DVD] [2013]