By Sam Peddy (Tucson)
The Place Beyond the Pines takes its audience on quite unexpected turns. It is a movie that has many common themes, but it expresses them in ways that are quite original. Something that stuck out about the film was that there is no real good guy or hero, all the main characters have many faults, making it a more realistic and an interesting movie. Theme plays a large role in this film, showing the perspective of two quite different fathers, who love their sons, but do not know how to be the fathers that they are supposed to be. And how the choices they make ultimately affect their sons.
Gosling does a very solid and moving performance, playing a motorcycle stuntman and drifter who finds out he has a son who is already a year old. Although there is good in him and he loves his son, he does not understand the importance of considering the choices one makes, and how they affect those around close to him as well. Gosling proves that he can really play any role given to him, and do it extremely well.
Bradley Cooper proves as well that he is always a good actor to cast, playing an ambitious cop who lets an act of violence push him away from his own family, and how the act ultimately changes his life.
The movie might not be what viewers expect it to be from the preview, it is mostly a drama portraying how the choices of fathers really affect their sons, and that boys need their fathers. It is a very heart wrenching film at times, and even though it seems to drag on a bit towards the end, I really recommend it if you are a viewer who likes analyzing characters in depth.