A motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover (Eva Mendes) and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop (Bradley Cooper) navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective. (source: imdb.com)
This is a tale of two men, both of singular purpose though for wholly different reasons.
Ryan Gosling’s Luke Glanton is a man in search of a place to belong and thinks he has found it with Romina, the mother of his baby son.
But of course life is rarely that simple, and Luke’s decision, aided and abetted by his new boss Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), to pull off a series of robberies to make that home with Romina and his child a reality comes with all manner of risks that imperil the very thing he is seeking.
Meanwhile cop-on-the-rise Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) who is married with one son though he is hardly a picture of domestic harmony and bliss, facing issues with his wife played by Rose Byrne, finds himself in pursuit of Luke resulting one must suspect in a confrontation of some sort down the track.
Where this cat-and-mouse game will leave both men is the million dollar question but it promise one hell of a showdown to determine who gets to walk away with their vision of The American Dream.
Assuming, of course, that either of them do.
What is there not to be excited about by this movie?
Hard-hitting, though likely melodramatic, drama, a fine emerging director in Derek Cianfrance (the searing raw emotion of Blue Valentine marked him as a talent to watch), two of the finest dramatic actors and leading men of the modern era, and the very talented Eva Mendes and Rose Byrne bringing their considerable acting skills to the fore.
While I doubt it will all end happily – these kinds of great battle of the wills movies rarely do – it nevertheless looks like being one of those films that draws you in with rich characters, finely-balanced tension-filled narrative and lush almost mystical cinematography, and doesn’t let you go till its closing frames two hours later.
But you won’t find me complaining.
I love disappearing into movies like this and have no reason to believe that Cianfrance’s latest movie masterpiece won’t have me wishing the lights would stay dark just a little while longer.
The Place Beyond the Pines releases in Australia on Thursday 9 May 2013.
* You might like to check out this great article on Eva Mendes released in the lead up to the film’s release in Australia.