Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) The Place Beyond The Pines stars Ryan Gosling as a Mysterious motorcycle racer Luke, who desperately tries to connect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), who secretly gave birth to his son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption.
The main subject matter of the film is really do the sins of the father carry over to haunt the son? Don’t expect a normal crime thriller as director Cianfrance has done a fabulous character study, two men who try there best to provide for the family but come unstuck when they go too far. The film shifts 15 years later to focus on the effect the crimes had on both sons wrestling with the legacy they’ve inherited.
Gosling gives a fantastic performance and like in Drive, has that intensity that has you thinking he is going to explode at any time. The supporting cast are all very good and although very long at 140 minutes, it is one of the best dramatic releases of the year so far.
The Blu ray released by Studio Canal shows off the gritty cinematography very well, Colours are bold and at times subdued giving a very satisfying viewing experience. As expected for a new release film, there is nothing at all to complain about. The sound is given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1mix and again it is very good.
It is a front heavy mix as to be expected in a dramatic film of this nature but the surrounds are used to good effect in the action and chase sequences. Extras are an audio commentary with co-writer/Director Derek Cianfrance who goes into great detail about the films production and the actors involved. Also, you have a short 5-minute making of, a trailer and deleted and extended scenes which do not add much to the film and were rightly not used.
Overall a great drama enhanced by some superb performances and lavish cinematography.
FILM: 7.5 PICTURE: 8 SOUND: 7.5 EXTRAS: 6