An effective film delivers its message, regardless of the audience’s biases going into it. The Place Beyond the Pines comes off initially as a complicated arty film, but it is very effective in delivering the plot and telling the story. The opening scene is really well executed. Very cool character introduction. Lots of great cinematic shots throughout.
The story is ultimately tragic, and as a viewer, it does not inspire much of a message. The story simply is, what the story is. The characters behave much like you would expect average, real-life people to behave. These characters are very important to the story.
Ben Mendelsohn’s “Robin”. Socially uncomfortable, but compassionate, this character brings a true portrayal of the “unique outlaw”. His scene with Luke’s son was cinematic perfection.
Ryan Gosling as “Luke” was spot on. His obvious lack of common sense, combined with an obsessive desire to do right by his son is the thread that helps really deliver the time-jump that happens in the second half of the film.
Bradley Cooper as “Avery” was very authentic. His character was very real, behaving and reacting to events the way you would expect a real person to (not as easy as it looks).
Eva Mendes is the James Brown of the film industry. She is the hardest working woman in show business. Her character, “Romina” was able to pull the emotion from Gosling’s character, who was usually either very calm or psychotic. Mendes’ obvious chops may be overlooked, but they were important to the success of the story arc.
Emory Cohen, plays Avery’s son “AJ”. This character projects strength in order to compensate for the loneliness of being the only child of a broken family.
Dane DeHaan plays Luke’s son “Jason”. Good cast. Jason was able to capture the obvious angst that comes from having a father like “Luke” and having your mother lie to you about who he was. Jason has some of dad’s qualities, which will not be pleasant for anyone who pisses him off.
Overall - Must Watch