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Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

USA, 2011

Cornerhouse, 25 September 2011


James Sallis’ stylish neo-noir novel is given an equally stylish adaptation with Refn’s fine film.

There are many things to admire about it – the car chase sequences, which are thrilling; the visceral violence, fit for a John Webster play; the variety of LA locales, the protean city writ large; Cliff Martinez’s ominous music, as effective as Tangerine Dream’s score for Thief – but of these it is the performances that stand out.

It is Mulligan, Brooks and above all Gosling who impress most.  Gosling plays a guy who finds human involvement  problematic, but when a family he’s close to is threatened he cannot walk away.  And when the violence falls he finds himself in the midst of it.  Like RJ, he’s travelled on so far he cannot turn around.

Drive is a relentless ride, easily one of the best films of the year.