‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ Trailer: Ryan Gosling is a Bank-Robbing Stunt Rider

Published 2 years ago by

Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines refers to the city Schenectady, New York, a name derived from the Mohawk word meaning “place beyond the pine plains.” It’s a multi-generational crime-drama serving as the director’s followup to his Sundance breakout Blue Valentine (read our review), starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in an Oscar-nominated role.

Gosling and Bradley Cooper co-headline The Place Beyond the Pines as carnie stunt rider Luke and NY cop Avery Cross. Luke provides for his son and ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) by robbing banks; meanwhile, Avery climbs the ranks in order to become a politician. However, when their worlds collide, it has unforeseen consequences – ones which continue to resonate fifteen years later, haunting the lives of both their teenage sons (Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen).

The cast includes Mendes and Rose Byrne (Insidious) as the suffering wives and Ray Liotta (Killing Them Softly) as a seasoned police officer, who helps give Avery a crash-course in corruption. In addition, character actors Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek Into Darkness), Mahershala Ali (Alphas) and Harris Yulin (24, Law & Order) play key supporting characters, who help fill out the population of the film’s Neo Noir-ish setting.

Visually, Place Beyond the Pines has a shoestring budget look (raw lighting, grainy footage) on part with Blue Valentine, even though Cianfrance had improved funding on his new project; however, the subdued colors and aesthetic are in keeping with the story’s gloomy tone. Similarly, Sean Bobbitt’s cinematography shares much in common with his work on Shame; though, it’s difficult to gauge whether or not the action sequences are up to scratch, since that’s not Bobbitt’s area of expertise. Not to mention, Cianfrance isn’t known for high-kinetic storytelling (unlike Spike Lee on the upcoming Oldboy remake, featuring Bobbit as the director of photography).

ryan gosling place beyond pines The Place Beyond the Pines Trailer: Ryan Gosling is a Bank Robbing Stunt Rider

Ryan Gosling in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

Cianfrance co-wrote the script with lesser-knowns Ben Coccio (The Beginner) and Darius Marder (Loot) – based on an original story he conceived with Coccio – and no doubt, they’re aiming high with Place Beyond the Pines. Most films would focus solely on Luke’s turn to crime and/or Avery’s rallying against the system; here, all that is woven together with the future storyline concerning their children and how they handle their inherited legacies (which is barely even referenced in the trailer, given all the other ground it has to cover).

One glance at initial critical reactions to Place Beyond the Pines (which screened at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival) and it’s easy to pick out a trend – namely, the film’s dense with themes and gut-wrenching drama, but suffers from a similar excess of ambition (coupled with unequal delivery) that has inflicted the work of many a director coming off their first critically-acclaimed success. Still, it definitely seems worth a look, for the cast alone.

[Note: we (almost) made it through this trailer breakdown without a Drive joke.]


The Place Beyond the Pines begins a limited release on March 29th, 2013.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

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  1. Looks great. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper? This is gonna bring in every teenage girl into the theaters

    • Teenage? I’m 32 and I can hardy contain myself…

  2. You are right about the casting being enough reason to check this out, Sandy.
    With that it does look promising, lean and mean and potentially engrossing.

    It has my good luck charm of Bruce Greenwood where I have liked
    anything he has been in in whatever role, an actor who should
    have had a much bigger career and far greater recognition.

    • I agree.
      He’s been in alot of movies that Ive liked also.

      • My favorite work of Bruce’s is the TV series Nowhere Man
        which ran for only one year in the 90s but was one of
        best science fiction mysteries ever produced.

  3. Note to the writer if you are going to use a word has an affirmation about the filmmaker make sure you use it correctly. “visceral” means the stirring of deep inward feelings. Did Cianfrance not accomplish this with Blue Valentine lol

    • Here, I was using “visceral” to refer to filmmaking that appeals foremost to the senses, not the intellect. In other words, pure action-packed moviemaking – unlike Blue Valentine, which I’d argue both stirs up feelings and raises thought-provoking questions.

      Anyway, I went ahead and changed it to avoid further confusion.

    • Vielen Dank Herr Professor. :)

  4. Kind of a bummer that the reviews already lean towards a “miss”. looking at the trailer I thought this was “drive 2″ that everyone says is coming out soon. Doesn’t it seem RG is playing the same character? BC is growing on me as an actor. I hear as a person he’s a great guy, but that still hasn’t gotten me to see Silver Linings, which I hear he’s pretty good in. I guess I’ll see it ’cause of the cast.. judge for myself I guess…:(

    • the link to rotten tomatoes that the author of this particular article linked for us shows a 100% critical reception so far, no idea where you got “learn towards a miss”.

  5. Drive was so awesome!

    • +1 I loved Drive! the elevator scene was unbelievably violent, but very well done at the same time.

  6. I’m very happy to see Bradley Cooper continue to take on more challenging roles like this one. Not sure if I’ll be seeing this one, though, mainly because I’m scared that I’m going to be walking into another Drive type movie again. Drive was very good, but personally I did not like it all (the slow-pacing and awkward silences were just too much for me).

  7. I live in Schenectady and watched this get filmed, cannot wait!

  8. Not for Nolan/batman fanboys. This a real film.

    • What makes you think that someone who enjoys Nolan’s Batman Trilogy can’t enjoy a ‘real’ film? And what Nolan’s Batman films have to do with this film? Was your comment just an excuse to diss Nolan films and its fans (I find the word fanboys/fangirls off-putting)? Wow. Okay Nolan’s fans, time to take the adoration down several notch.

    • Bro, Do You Even Lift Bro?