Ben Mendelsohn is doing some of the best work of his career in this picture and when Gosling and him are on the screen together it is worth the admission price alone. This is an Anthology film and one of the more ambitious anthology films since Creepshow. With a cast of some of the finest character actors around (like Dane Dehaan), and some beautiful cinematography (especially in the woods with the motorbike) this has stood out as one of the finest films of the year so far.
But I haven’t even got to Mike Patton’s chilling score. An element which if lost would have taken out a lot of the sting in this film. With carefully placed sting sections and heart stopping tympani this is the kind of score that just drains you. It takes anything in your life that is going on and makes you feel better about yourself because it bleeds your emotions elsewhere. Mike Patton has solidified himself as one of the greatest living musicians even before stepping into the score game; but this particular score is something to truly behold. At times it could even be said it was reminiscent of those first times you heard John Williams’ Jaws score.
Now I think Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine is a better film by both Derek and Gosling but this has started a new even darker edge in his filmography. If he takes his time in this genre he will most certainly be one of the highest regarded dramatic filmmakers of his generation. Blue Valentine had a rawer edge to it which needs to be incorporated into this now darker edge.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a film you must want to experience and one that should be experienced on the big screen. It is enormous in image and small in scale which always lead to the best kinds of cinema.And again Gosling and Mendelsohn are the best duo since Simon and Garfunkel.