The Place Beyond the Pines – 7.9

The most notable aspect of this film was its structure, which Siri didn’t like but which I admired for its originality: the movie’s first half was about the Ryan Gosling character; the movie’s second half was about the Bradley Cooper character; and the third half, a separate coda 15 years later, was about their respective sons. Gosling and Cooper, both excellent, had to make life-changing decisions based on changed circumstances in their lives. The kids’ decisions were less convincing, perhaps because we didn’t see what their previous 15 years were like. Where did A.J. come up with his Elvis hairdo and inner-city accent? And why, after the Sopranos, would anyone call their kid “A.J.”? As far as names go, where was the place beyond the pines, anyway? Ray Liota and Eva Mendes were special treats in an intense film with one fine touch after another.

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