Derek Cianfrance

The French director-writer François Ozon once made a memorable film called Swimming Pool, in which a parched writer was strengthened by contact with another person. Now he makes In the House, where an encounter with imagination again enlivens a writer, and entails danger.

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Derek Cianfrance's America

Class and fate in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

For the second time, Derek Cianfrance has put Ryan Gosling on the edge of a great character: the American failure who has the neediness and the inner life of a wild genius. 

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 As the award season builds, Blue Valentine is being promoted by the Weinstein Company as “the most provocative film of the year.” That’s not far-fetched: This is a challenging experience, and a conscientious effort to expose raw lives. But is it a movie or a new way of revealing helplessness? Perhaps the picture’s largest strength and problem is that its two embedded performances--from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams--leave us realizing their characters may not be suited to either marriage or a great fictional movie.

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