'Only God Forgives' is ludicrous
'Drive' director Nicolas Winding Refn returns with 'Only God Forgives.'
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.
He is called “Driver” on the wishful but forlorn principle that you only need to be what you do. He works in an auto repair shop in Los Angeles for a man named Shannon (Bryan Cranston), whose heavy limp bespeaks a bad history with the Mob. It is Shannon, acting as an amiable manager, who guides Driver into other jobs: doing stunts for movies; and driving the getaway car on serious robberies.
Joe Biden and a Mongolian wrestler. Ryan Gosling breaks up a fight. All the different theories for what’s wrong with the economy. “Leading from behind” to victory. Everything's coming up Milhouse for Bernard-Henri Lévy.
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.