Blue Valentine writer/director Derek Cianfrance sets Ryan Gosling's stunt rider on a collision course with Bradley Cooper's high-flying rookie cop.
Released 12 April
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
The cast Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn
The pitch A peroxide blonde, tattooed Ryan Gosling turns bad-boy motorcycle stunt rider in writer/director Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to 2010's indie heart bruiser Blue Valentine. Faced with the unexpected news that he fathered a child from a previous relationship, lone protagonist Luke turns to robbing banks to support his ex, Romina (Eva Mendes), and newfound family. When he crosses paths with ambitious rookie cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), corruption takes charge and honest motives are soon forgotten.
The buzz Blue Valentine left audiences eager for Cianfrance’s next move. Although there are certain parallels between The Place Beyond The Pines and Nic Refn’s Drive, Cianfrance looks to have crafted a more emotionally robust drama. But it's not all about the Gosling-Cianfrance reunion. After Bradley Cooper’s mature performance in Silver Linings Playbook, we're intrigued to see what he offers here.
Reasons this could be good Without too many gritty crime dramas on the horizon in 2013, Pines could well be a welcome change of pace. And is that Ray Liotta popping up in an obligatory bent cop supporting role? Say no more.
Reasons this could be bad If the tone of Blue Valentine is anything to go by, Pines could feature a few too many grey-blue, handheld shots of Gosling posing solemnly by his bike.
Soundtrack A haunting piano refrain warns of family breakdowns and the rider's imminent emotional crash. Faith No More's Mike Patton provides the score.
Best bit: 2:10-2.17 – "If you ride like lightning, you’re going to crash like thunder." This ominous line echoes on as the trailer comes to a close. Will it ring true with Luke?
The verdict: Nostalgic tragedy is a mood Cianfrance mastered in Blue Valentine. If the writer/director can do for crime drama what he accomplished in relationship drama, Pines is sure to leave a strong impression. As Gosling's lone protagonist skids away from the law, out of his depth and out of control, he is no longer just looking out for himself.