The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance – 2012) B+

In the first 20 minutes or so, the film seems to be a simple competent drama. A drifter and motorcycle stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) finds out that he has a one-year old son. He wants to support him by any means necessary so that he does not end up a drifter like his dad…Long story short the film is not as simple as that. It spans years and deals with the sins of the fathers (the other being Bradley Cooper) and their impact on their sons. It’s funny how a well made and interesting film can be almost ruined with a bad casting decision. The actor who is playing AJ, Bradley Cooper’s character’s son, is too old to be a high school kid that it was distracting for me. On top of that, his performance and demeanor whether intentional or not, was just unbearable. I cannot help but think that I would’ve liked this film more with a more competent (or maybe just a more suited) actor. Petty complaints and personal prejudices aside, the film is well executed and gives us characters we care about.

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