The Place Beyond the Pines
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Cornerhouse, 13 April 2013
To my mind, this film has indistinct though undeniable echoes of Rich Man, Poor Man, with Ryan Gosling taking the Nick Nolte role.
Or maybe it’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City recast as a crime drama.
Anyway, it is all about fathers and sons, obligations and betrayals, fate and the need for identity. Gosling is a stunt biker in a circus, a drifter, and then he discovers that he has a child and it alters the course of his life. He seizes the chance to belong, to be accepted, but all the same he can’t seem to make it work.
Undeniably, it holds one’s attention throughout, but a better format for the story would have been a TV series (as intimated); there is an awful lot of story to get through.
Death isn’t cheap in this film, something that is very much to Derek Cianfrance’s credit. He allows a space for moral choice, for forgiveness and mercy.