Entries tagged with “Eva Mendes”.

Where does director  Derek Cianfrance hide? It may be my fault for not remembering having seen any his movies before or even knowing his name. It is certainly the fault of the distributors of ‘The Place Beyond the Pines‘ which was made in 2013 for not making out of this film a blockbuster or at least a festivals circuit success. Produced in 2012 it has Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes in the cast, all of them acting superbly, it’s a beautifully written story about crime and corruption, guilt and fatherhood,  which is at the same time human and universal as well as rooted to the detail in the realities of a small town in the state of New York where much of the filming was done on location. So did this film only enjoy a limited launching, and why did he make only a small profit over the rather modest sum of money it cost? These questions may be asked in an investigation of the mysteries of the American movies distribution system.


source https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1817273/

source https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1817273/


It is not easy to tell what this film is about without committing the ‘spoiler sin’, but I will try to avoid the trap. It starts as the story of a life and of a love lost in mistakes, with little chances to end well. It continues as the story of a cop trying to do the right things and fighting the corrupt system he works in. It ends as a story of paternal responsibility and how the next generation is due to follow the steps of fathers and whether breaking the circle of fate and social conditioning is possible. So there are three stories here, three stories with different focus and pace, partly sharing the same characters and with a continuity determined by the leading ideas. As I try to tell all these, I realize how many important details remain out, how well they are interleaved and what value they add, how well the whole narrative structure stands. It’s a strong and moving story (or better said collection of stories) told in an original manner.


(video source StudiocanalUK)


I need to add a few special mentions about acting. For Ryan Gosling this may be the first big ‘bad guy’ role of his career but he cannot really be a ‘bad guy’ to the end, as he adds complexity and deepness to his character. Same can be said about the character  played by Bradley Cooper but working on the opposite direction, as we see the hero cop never at peace with the decisions he needs to take even when it seems to be ‘the right thing’ (fighting crime and police corruption). Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta provide more substance to their supporting roles which could have easily fallen in standard melodrama. We come to know the place where the action happens and the way it changes in time, and in part of the secret ’The Place Beyond the Pines‘ looks to good and authentic is the careful description and familiarity of the authors for the details.

How can this wonderful film be taken out of the shade of forget it undeservedly lies? The best would be if the very talented film director who is Derek Cianfrance will make some more successful movies. I hope that this will happen, and then ‘The Place Beyond the Pines‘ will have its second chance.




There is a strong feeling of deja vu planning on the viewers of We Own the Night (the slogan of the NYPD in the 80s, while fighting for the control of the streets of the Big Apple at night). The story and the characters are pretty much borrowed from similar movies where brothers or childhood friends find themselves on opposed parts of the cops vs. mafia game. The atmosphere and characters are very much similar to other stories about the New York gangs or police academies. The combination of family drama and Mafia intrigue is also a classical theme.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498399/


So the story of the film looks very much like an 80s story. The problem is that it does not only refer to the 80s but it also feels like a film from the 80s. This may have been in part intentional, a decision by director James Gray that I respect, as it provides an air of authenticity to the way the streets, the clubs, the police stations are being brought to life. Some of the acting also fits into the same vision, as Robert Duvall as the head of the policemen dynasty is an actor who comes to us from the 80s, and Mark Wahlberg fits well in the patern, as well as the Israeli Moni Moshonov distributed as a Russian padrone. The out of pattern acts are those of Joaquin Phoenix, a huge actor who hardly can fit in any pattern and of the very sexy Eva Mendes who plays his girlfriend.


(video source MoviemanTrailers)


Worth seeing? Maybe, if you really are interested in another family drama mixed with gangsters vs. cops intrigues which does not really raise to the level of Scorsese, and if you like films from the 80s. But, wait a moment, if you really like films from the 80s why not renting or looking for one of the real stuff on the cable movie channels?