Ryan Gosling announced a couple of weeks ago “I need a break from myself as much as I image the audience does.” But before he takes his (un-agreed upon) sabbatical, he stars in the new “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Washington Post Live held a film screening and discussion this week. Don’t let the movie poster fool you — there is more to this film than Gosling, Bradley Cooper and the beginnings of Gosling and Eva Mendes’s off-screen romance. Here are 10 things to know before seeing “Pines”:
1. This is not a Ryan Gosling movie. Similar to how “Les Misérables” was not an Anne Hathaway movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines” is front-loaded with Ryan.
2. There will be a moment when you wonder if “Drive” was accidentally re-released in theaters. Gosling tries to win a girl with a series of grunted “yes”s and “no”s while wielding a gun and operating a motor vehicle — the similarities are there. It also begs the question: Is Ryan better in a car or on a motorcycle?
3.There is such a thing as too many tattoos.
4. This is the start of Ben Mendelsohn’s American breakout. Ann Hornaday’s explains in her profile of the Australian actor:
“Now that he’s finally arrived, he’s swiftly become a reliably fascinating presence in whatever endeavor he undertakes, whether he’s playing the brutal older brother of a crime family in “Animal Kingdom,” Bruce Wayne’s business rival John Daggett in “The Dark Knight Rises,” a motormouthed ruffian in “Killing Them Softly” or, in “The Place Beyond the Pines,” an upstate New York mechanic and erstwhile bank robber who becomes best friend and mentor to a stunt motorcyclist played by Gosling.”
Or as Gosling’s character Luke says in the movie, “Not since Hall and Oates has there been such a team.”
5. Bradley Cooper continues his fight to challenge the stigma of mental health and professional counseling one role at a time.
6. “Pines” has the action movie trifecta: Car chases, gun violence and cop corruption. Post Live panel discussion participant Dwayne Stanton, a retired Washington D.C. Police Department detective and president of Progressive Security Consultants, LLC., explains: “This movie is best described as entertainment. Is there police corruption? Absolutely. Was it a bit extreme here? Absolutely…. You don’t rob a bank like that…The police chase is not the way we’ve ever done it… But what it does right is show where the criminal enterprise stars. When someone feels they have no other choice.”
7. Where have you seen the sons before? AJ is the same kid that played Debra Messing’s son in season 1 of “Smash.” Jason will star with
Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe in 2013’s much-hyped “Kill Your Darlings.”
8. Just like with “Blue Valentine,” director Derek Cianfrance’s “Pines” will stick with you after the credits roll, whether you liked it or not.
9. If you know people from Schenectady, N.Y., or near there, you will text them on your way out of the theater to ask if they know what happens beyond the pines.
10. This is a movie about fathers and sons, not cops and robbers. Hornaday explains it best in her movie review:
“… A meditation on fate, destiny and sins of the fathers delivered as a three-act triptych that suffers from diminishing returns with each successive installment. But Cianfrance is too skilled a scenarist to make “The Place Beyond the Pines” anything less than compelling.”