The Place Beyond the Pines

This is a complex, fascinating movie about the connection between fathers and sons across generations. It focuses on consequences and the effects we have on others. The acting is outstanding across the board, especially Ryan Gosling’s intense character study in part one of the movie, which was hard to look away from.

This movie is mostly about men, though Eva Mendes does a great job with the character of Romina. It’s about the resonating effects of fatherhood.

The writing shows an intelligent understanding of human nature — no one is a hero, no one is all good or bad here. These feel like real human beings with a stew of motivations, only some of them visible above the surface.

The Place Beyond the Pines is divided into three parts. The first part is the best, the third least interesting, although it is supposed to inevitably proceed from the first two sections.

Part Three focuses on the sons of the men whose story is chronicled in Parts One and Two. I thought Part Three was one possible ending for this story, although not the most interesting possible ending. I thought it was too predictable.  Though I understand how a 17-year-old boy, impressionable and trying to discover himself, might react this way, it still seemed a little too facile.

Otherwise, this was a fantastic movie beautifully filmed, a joy to watch even through the tension this movie evoked. A link to the movie’s IMDb listing is here.