Derek Cianfrance’s new drama, The Place Beyond the Pines, boasts a great cast including two Academy Award nominees, Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, who are fathers of young sons approximately the same age, but that is all they have in common until their lives intersect with their respective careers. The script that Cianfrance wrote, along with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder, is well done except for a couple of scenes that feel slightly predictable, involving Ray Liotta’s character in the crime drama.
Overall, I am impressed by the entire cast’s performances; Gosling as the blonde high-wire motorcycle stunt carnival performer named Luke, who turns to robbing banks as a way to make some fast cash to support his son Jason, a love child he has with Romina (Eva Mendes). Ben Mendelsohn is excellent as Luke’s temporary employer Robin, and this Australian actor has greatly impressed me since Animal Kingdome. Cooper does not fail to keep the viewer’s attention (aside from his good looks) as the Schenectady, New York rookie cop Avery Cross who has a life changing encounter with Luke and subsequently, Jason (Dane DeHaan).
Cross’s life is not only impacted personally with his wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) and their son AJ (Emory Cohen), but professionally as he soon finds out his fellow cops are corrupt and the leader is Detective Deluca (Ray Liotta). While Cross is able to get beyond the crooks in the story, it is after he moves on in his life that the past comes back around when Jason and AJ unknowingly end up meeting.
No more spoilers from me, but do know that the story and the performances are well worth your movie bucks this weekend in your local theater. The eye candy is delicious.