The Place Beyond The Pines 2012 ***

Ryan Gosling plays a variation on the taciturn loner he created in Drive for this curious, original and decidedly ambitious melodrama for writer/director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) . Gosling plays Luke, a motorcycle stunt driver who wants to prove himself to lover Romina (Eva Mendez). Turning to bank-robbery to make cash for his unborn child, Luke comes to the attention to cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), but The Place beyond the Pines takes an abrupt left turn halfway through, jumping forward in time to focus on how these actions impact on the generation to come. While there’s a strange lack of detail, with the characters never seeming to age, Cianfrance evokes a grand canvas of generational adherence and the sins of the father; a Wuthering Heights-style drama with big ideas to match the star performances. And the bank-robbery scenes are undeniably compelling.


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