On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

The Place Beyond The Pines

2012/ USA

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, Emory Cohen, Dane DeHaan

First off, Hello, I’m Sam. Second off, there’s no way I can review this epic of a movie easily, without spoilers. So bare with me. Thirdly, I’m a bit of a Gosling fan. Let’s get to it.

It’s been an extremely long time since I visited a huge cinema- positioned in a huge shopping complex- and not felt like I was just purchasing another commodity amongst all the other commodities. You know when you have the feeling you’ll remember everything about the experience of seeing a certain film for the first time? Yeh? Well, that.

I’ll remember the apathetic audience, the many tasty snacks I never found the break in concentration for, that I didn’t sit back in my seat once, only blinking maybe twice, and the levee breaching feeling afterwards.

In each of the film’s three parts, we explore the aspirations and troubles of the varying stars as the focus shifts between their generational stories. Director Derek Cianfrance, worked previously with Ryan Gosling on his breakthrough film Blue Valentine. The story world of this work and Place Beyond The Pines’ are almost indistinguishable. Both have an invisibility to them. Cianfrance waited 12 years since his first film to make Blue Valentine because he wanted it to be right. Place Beyond The Pines reportedly taking 6 years to complete also. The ‘lived in’ nature of both’s production design, camera work, costumes (everything) are immaculately genuine. This also applies to all of the cast in Place Beyond The Pines; it is as if we are watching a documentary. Although PBTP’s life-spanning narrative seems predictable at times (and if you spot it, you’ll know where it’s going), this predictability does seem to be aiming at a form of parable. The ‘lived in’ production of the whole film creates a thrilling, visceral, believable realm for the varying characters to live in so that when they do make these life changing decisions, you feel as if you’re learning rather just being a smart-arse and predicting where the story is going.

Here’s a warning for all of you. As the movie plays out- if you are immersed entirely in the story- each scene will have you holding back tears. Every plot point is packed with meaning and emotion. Nothing is in there if it doesn’t have to be. Where as most Blockbuster’s assume 2 hours plus is the standard length for an audience to endure, this movie does not waste any one of its 140 minutes.

Maybe I was just in need of a good film, maybe I got over excited, maybe my inner-Gosling fanboy took over; but when a new film reminds you of Scorsese in his prime (or at least the feeling you get from watching Goodfellas for the time (excuse the Ray Liotta inclusion) you know you’re experiencing something special.

Very rarely have I wanted to revisit a huge cinema, in a huge shopping complex to watch the same film again but I think Place Beyond The Pines may have managed it.

-Sam Taylor

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2 comments on “The Place Beyond The Pines

  1. Filmbird
    April 30, 2013

    Hi, really enjoyed your review. I also thought this was a great film with great acting -if you wanted to check out my review of Place Beyond the Pines you can find it here: http://wp.me/p3p8rD-N
    (I’ve also reviewed Blue Valentine – had a bit of a Derek Cianfrance week!)

    • ontheedgefilms
      May 1, 2013

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the review thanks a lot! We’ll make sure to check your stuff out sometime 🙂

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