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‘Pines’ is gritty, bold and well-acted

April 29, 2013
By Tony Rutherford (letters@graffitiwv.com) , Graffiti

A lot of dark, moody "film noir" pieces from the past tend to share elements whereby they place flawed-conduct consequences upon struggling likable characters caught in converging circumstances, and they are usually on the wrong side of law enforcement.

Enter a 21st-Century bleach blonde James Dean-esque free spirit known as Luke (Ryan Gosling), a carnival globe of death cyclist who learns that his former girlfriend Romina (Eva Mendes) has given birth to his son. After her rejecting his unsteady lifestyle (and income), Luke opts to hold up banks.

"The Place Beyond the Pines" director Derek ("Blue Valentine") Cianfrance, a Sundance fest favorite, paints visuals with surreal touches that give way to interconnecting over fifteen years the ironic moral "justice" which envelopes a politically aspiring, heroic detective (Bradley Cooper), whose pedigreed family roots short-circuit working up employment ethics in favor of corruptible missteps.

Falling into increasingly "necessary" deeds to cover the past, Cooper's resilient acting types him as simultaneously slightly naive and dedicated, yet too easily succumbing to temptations.

Gritty, bold, and eventually solidified by the less than six degrees of separation in Schenectady, New York, Cianfrance demonstrates that gifted imagining of what goes around comes around storytelling does not necessitate filmmaking laced with a mega millions budget. Acting and events whisk empathy, immersion and a stunner or two.

Contact Tony at

letters@graffitiwv.com

 
 

 

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