Director : Derek Cianfrance
Starring : Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Emory Cohen, Dane DeHaan, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali
Running Time : 140 minutes
Release Date : In cinemas now
This movie is so much more than you see in the trailer or have read about in the media releases. So much more….
Luke (Gosling) is a stunt motorcycle rider who drifts aimlessly with a carnival. On a visit to a town he worked in over a year ago, he is visited by an ex fling, Romina (Mendes) and discovers he has a baby son. The trouble is Romina is married to another man Kofi (Ali) and together they are raising baby Jason. Luke decides he wants to be a father to Jason and with the help of his new friend Robin (Mendelsohn), starts robbing banks.
The trick to robbing banks and getting away with it, according to Robin, is to not get too greedy. So when Robin has had enough, Luke embarks on the robberies alone and ends up being pursued by ex-lawyer rookie cop Avery (Cooper). Avery loves being a cop and is determined to work his way through the ranks. Being the son of a respected local judge, and with a wife Jennifer (Byrne) and a baby son of his own, his future is all but set in stone. However, when he encounters the shadier side of the force and is confronted with corruption, his future is no longer straightforward or bright and shiny.
The meeting of cop and robber is to have far-reaching and devastating effects for both men and their sons. The words of Shakespeare ‘ the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children’ comes to mind time and again during this movie. We are also left wondering who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. Bad guys can do bad things for good reasons and good guys can do bad things because they can.
As in a Shakespearian play itself, this movie has definite ‘acts’….
Act 1 is for Luke
Act 2 is for Avery
Act 3 is for their sons Jason and AJ, at whose feet the legacy of their father’s sins are laid.
This movie is amazing. It is a slow, thoughtful piece set among the gorgeous and lush surroundings of Schenectady, New York. Director Cianfrance’s most notable other work is Blue Valentine, also starring the spectacularly gifted Gosling. As with Blue Valentine, the Director manages to elicit so much from quiet, subtle performances. Gosling, as we are all aware, is beyond talented and Cooper, who is proving himself to be a future leading man of substance, gives a nuanced and deeply moving performance as a man torn apart by what he has done, what he knows and what he wishes to become.
But the performance that stays with you is the young DeHaan, who I have seen run around as a panther in HBO’s True Blood and then steal the show in a movie I reviewed last year Chronicle. De Haan is where Gosling was about ohhhhhh 12 years ago, taking roles that allow him to work alongside talented Directors and actors. This is a young man to watch. You mark my words…..
This is a lengthy movie but worth every moment. I cannot recommend it enough and for anyone who wants to watch a riveting, drama/crime/thriller with a heart and soul, this is one not to miss.
I wish to thank The Tower Cinemas in Newcastle for their hospitality this afternoon. It was, as always, a pleasure to visit and chat with the gorgeous staff before and after my movie.
Love Flick xx