Entries tagged with “Ryan Gosling”.

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.




The buzz is high, the prizes started to accumulate. They tell however more about the status of the industry and the longing of the public for escapist entertainment combined with a high dose of nostalgia for the musical successes that were running high 60 or 70 years ago. La La Land directed by combines a well known formula, makes reverences to the golden period of the musical films in Hollywood (some scenes were filmed in the studio were Fred Astaire once was filmed) but also to some more modern film makers and their ideas (like ), and enjoys the participation of shining stars like and . It may be sufficient for collecting statuettes. It is not enough to make it a real good film. I know I am in a minority expressing this opinion now. I believe that it will be a growing minority soon.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/


What we get with La La Land a collection of a few wonderful moments connected by an awfully schematic story. Boy meets girl, of course. Boy is an aspiring jazz musician in a time when real jazz seems to be in a descending slope of interest, Girl is an aspiring actress, waiting in a Starbucks (or like) coffee shop and auditioning in a serial and desperate manner. They both have visions and passion. They both aspire to careers, but life is tough and art and success seldom meet for one person and almost never with personal happiness. Or true love. From here on the story accumulates many of the possible stereotypes and too little artistic truth. Great scenes are not missing – actually this film has a number of memorable quotes, the problem is the rosy sweet materials on between. There is also one great idea that I liked – who does it belong to? script writers or director – the non-reality scenes are drawn in music and dance. The ones from the films in the 40s and 50s.


(video source Lionsgate Movies)


When jazz is played however, it’s different. Jazz music is also about being true, great jazzmen do not lie when they play music. Sebastian () explaining to Mia () what jazz is about is one of the best scenes I have ever seen about jazz. The problem is that this is not a jazz movie. As much as I love and appreciate their chemistry on screen is not enough to sustain the film, and it actually makes their breaking (and the break away scene) even less credible.

Just to be clear – La La Land is not a bad movie.   is at his third film, the two other were also one way or the other related to music. Whiplash was welcome with ravishing critics and a very high IMDB rating.  La La Land however belongs to a very different category. In the thin air of the ideas and good cinema of the last years it will get a lot of prizes in the next couple of months. Many of them are not deserved. I write this by respect for what the film is (and is not) and for what the Academy, BAFTA, or Golden Globe awards should be. I am expecting more and better films about music from . Maybe a great jazz movie.

Was Karl Marx right with his critics and analysis about the capitalist system, its crisis, and inequalities? The question must have crossed the minds of many people faced with the periodic failures of the world economy and financial systems in the last couple of decades, which seem to have made the poor poorer, ruined into poverty millions of people who were part of the middle class, while making many of the rich richer. The question is asked indirectly also by the makers of ‘The Big Short’ directed by , probably the best film made until now about the crush of the real-estate market followed by the financial system which started in 2007, and to some extent continues until today.


source http://trilbee.com/reviews/the-big-short-2016-movie-review

source http://trilbee.com/reviews/the-big-short-2016-movie-review


The housing market in the United States was expanding and seemed to be rocky solid in the 1990s and the early 2000s. It was supported by a banking system which did not only provided the credits that allowed all the strata of the population reach the house of their dreams, but also created new money from money and profits from profits for the investors. This kind of bubble BTW persists until today and endangers all the capitalist economy. The film describes how a few people involved with the investment funds and banking systems had foreseen the fall (‘The Big Short’) and made a profit out of it investing in credit default swaps, kind of insurance policies against the deficit of a system which was supposed never to fail. If you want this was like buying insurance policies against earthquakes  with the confidence that an earthquake will happen in the next two years in one of the most stable areas in the world.


(video source Paramount Pictures)


Director McKay took a documentary book (Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,”) and turned it into docu-fiction of the best quality. In order to explain how the system worked he used the narrator who is also one of the heroes (played by ) and a few real life celebrities to explain the dry financial terms. I certainly did not become an expert in economics after seeing this film, but I can understand what chef Antoine Bourdelle means with taking lower quality (‘B rated’) sea-food and putting it in his bouillabaisse, package with his ‘AAA rated’ prestige. The smart heroes take life each on screen thanks to well written dialogues and fine performances of such actors as Gosling, , , or .

‘The Big Short’  proves that the financial and banking system that is supposed to support the capitalist economy is ill. It also proves that Hollywood at its best can make relevant movies that touch real life, while being good entertainment for smart viewers. In what concerns the question ‘was Karl Marx right?’ the answer is in my opinion that he was right in part of the analysis of the capitalist system, but was completely wrong in what concerns the cure. If a cure exists for the capitalist system, its name is certainly not communism.

A few days ago I have seen the brand new ‘Black Mass’ which is also a mob story made in Hollywood and enjoying the participation of a fine cast. I was not enthusiastic. ‘Gangster Squad’ directed by has the few ingredients that I was missing in that film, which make the genre ‘mob story inspired by real characters’ much more enjoyable to me. It does start with ‘inspired by a true story’ (or ‘true characters’), inserts the inevitable ‘true crime’ photos, and ends with the even more unavoidable text and pictures about the years spent in jail by the surviving bad guys, and the years happily spent fighting crime and raising kids by the good guys (those who survived, of course). In the middle it does better.





The story of ‘Gangster Squad’ is set in the post-war LA, and this certainly helps as the place and the period seems to gather interests because of the classical ‘noire’ thrillers that it inspired followed by a number of successful movies (starting with The Maltese Falcon, of course, set and filmed in 1941). The despicable bad guy’s name is Micky Cohen and his overtaking of the city could not (at least according to the script) be fought but by unconventional vigilante methods, because most of the police and judicial system was corrupted by hum. Find the right cops, motivated enough by having fought and survived WWII in order to build a world worth being lived by their kids, add the necessary dose of romantic, get a stunt master and a good choreographer for the fights and chases, and success is almost ensured.


(video source Movieclips Trailers)


The story may be more remote from the truth than in ‘Black Mass’, the capabilities of the squad in fights and shooting may seem overrated, but at the end of the day the result was more enjoyable for me. It certainly helped to have on board such a fine team of actors, including as the ultimate bad guy, ‘can’t do wrong’ , and beautiful who always seems to create around her a fascinating touch of mystery very appropriate in this movie. ‘Gangster Squad’ is a mob story that works and succeeds to be an entertaining film.

‘All Good Things’ is the only big screen feature film made until now by director Andrew Jarecki, who seems to have been involved previously with documentary movies, and we can feel this. Although he had for this movie at hands a splendid team of Hollywood actors who did a fine job he did not succeed to turn the juicy crime story upon which the film is based into a real compelling piece of cinema.


source www.imdb.com/title/tt1175709/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1175709/


The story Jarecki is using is the highly publicized and never solved case of the disappearance in the early 80s of the wife of a rich class New Yorker, involved in the murky real-estate business of his family in the center of Manhattan. Twenty years and two more bodies later he was brought in Court, but his guilt was never proved and today he walks free. However the film does not focus on the investigation, but rather provides a convincing (on screen) theory of the way things happen, of the motivation and reasons of the crimes. It’s a dark story about moral misery and personal crisis in a family of super-riches. The problem is that it’s hard to define and possibly the distributors had a hard time advertising the genre and the story of the film. Crime stories fans will find themselves watching for more than half of the screening time a family drama, romance (the film starts like kind of a ‘Love Story’) quickly turns into disarray and domestic violence, reality does not necessarily make into cinematographic truth.


(video source VISO Trailers)


The best reasons to watch this film despite mixed reviews and not a very high mark on IMDb is however acting. Ryan Gosling can hardly do wrong on my taste, and here he is facing a complex role, in which he accompanies his deeply troubled hero from young age to late maturity, from the picks of the easy life of the New York socialites to the abyss of the life of a fugitive and transvestite. The even better news is that there is even better acting than Gosling’s in this film and I refer of course to Kirsten Dunst‘s role as the loving wife whose dream of marrying the nice and rich guy slowly descends into nightmare, and to the veteran Frank Langella who injects character and complexity in the role of the family father who is much more than a (anti)-moral symbol. At the end of the day and of the film the artistic truth of this story comes from a different place than the factual truth.

2012 is an electoral year in the United States, and every electoral year is preceded by a few months by the electoral films year. It must be a few months in advance which makes the electoral films year be a little different than the calendar year, but, hey, we do have the financial year, not to speak about various religious years and all are different. There are at least two good reasons for the electoral films year being different than the calendar year – the Oscars season, of course, and the fact than by June or September the real thing becomes too interesting for the Americans to care about movies any longer. So the time to watch electoral movies is about now, and The Ides of March is probably the first significant movie of electoral films year 2012.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1124035/


George Clooney is again here in front of the cameras as democratic presidential candidate governor Morris and behind the cameras as the director of Ides of March. I liked his work in Good Night, and Good Luck and I liked it here again. He has a precise hand, a good cinematographic feel, is inspired in casting and directs well his actors. However the show is completely stolen by Ryan Gosling, the actor who seems to dominate the season and is better and better each film I see him in. In a focused performance Gosling succeeds to bring to screen the vision, the hope, the doubts, the ambitions of political manager Stephen Meyers who in a matter of a few campaign days apparently makes the transition from idealism to real-politik campaigner and has to decide on the delicate balance between personal truth and the greater goals of politics. Philip Seymour Hoffman who has disappeared from my radar screen after a few great roles is back with a key role in the story, Marisa Tomei has a smaller role than I would have liked but it’s always a pleasure to see her, Paul Giamatti and Evan Rachel Wood are fine in a balanced and well directed cast. The Ides of March works well without being astonishing.


(video source trailers)


Passionates of the genre and of American politics, George Clooney and Ryan Gosling’s fans will all love the film. The rest of us can watch it as a reasonably well made and well acted political thriller, and as a story of political coming-to-age in today’s American system, as well as an undeniable sign that the electoral films year has really started. There is one story line which seemed all by neglected to me and this is the personal tragedy of the young intern which is just a pretext in the development of the drama of the main characters. For once I think that what this movie lacks is a small dose of melodrama.


Certainly, ‘Drive’ is a thriller. A different and unexpected type of thriller. Whoever has seen this film will remember maybe the story line, and a few action sequences, some of them extremely violent. They will remember first of all the two principal characters and their almost unreal lover story, they will remember the calm and focused look of Ryan Gosling (we never get to know the name of his character, he is just the Driver) which blurs into tenderness when he crosses the restraint smile of Irene (Carey Mulligan). One kiss followed by a violent kill, this is the only physical contact the two will ever make on screen.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780504/


It may take a good 30 minutes for the viewer to decide what this film is about, but then things become clear. It is the most impossible and most beautiful love story we have seen in a while, disguised in a violent action movie. He is a stuntman, and a potential race driver who does not get to the race tracks, but races for burglars, helping them escape the location of their crimes. She is her floor neighbor, she has a kid and a husband in jail. When things seem to converge to some domestic low class drama located in the non-privileged area of Los Angeles, the husband returns from jail, gets soon into trouble, and the Driver is the only one who can potentially help him. Or drive him to his destiny. From here the second half of the film becomes one of the most violent I have seen recently on mainstream cinema, all packaged by director Nicolas Winding Refn in 70s style cinematography mixed with classic cars races.


(video source hollywoodstreams)


The sincere and straightforward acting and the day to day appearance of the main characters make the violence (and there is violence!) even more striking. And yet, the overall impression ‘Drive’ left to me was of one of the most sensible films I have seen recently, with emotion surging up from a very unexpected place. My only problem is that I am not sure to whom this film would be recommended. Action films fans may find a little bit too sentimentality here, romantic movies fans may be shocked by the violence. To all, give this film a try!