The Place Beyond the Pines
|The Place Beyond the Pines|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Derek Cianfrance|
|Screenplay by||Derek Cianfrance
|Story by||Derek Cianfrance
|Music by||Mike Patton|
|Edited by||Jim Helton
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Box office||$47 million|
The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. It stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan, with Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, and Ray Liotta in supporting roles. The film reunites Cianfrance and Gosling, who worked together on 2010s Blue Valentine. The film was scored by Mike Patton and also featured previously written music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The title is the English meaning of the city of Schenectady, New York, which is derived loosely from a Mohawk word for "place beyond the pine plains."
In 1997, Luke Glanton is a locally well-known motorcycle stuntman working in a traveling act for state fairs. During a fair in Schenectady, New York, Luke reunites with his ex-lover Romina Gutierrez and drives her home. He asks her out on a date, but she declines, as she has become involved with another man named Kofi Kancam. Luke returns to her house a couple days later to discover Romina has a baby son. Luke is the father, after they made love the previous year. Luke does not want his son to grow up without ever knowing who his father was, as he himself suffered the same fate. Luke quits his job to support Romina and their son, but Romina is reluctant to have him in their son's life. He turns to a local auto repair shop owner, Robin Van Der Hook, for part-time employment as he repeatedly attempts to insert himself into his son's life. Earning little, Luke asks Robin for more money so he can contribute to his son's care.
Robin reveals he was once a bank robber and offers to partner with Luke in hitting several local banks. They perform several successful heists, in which Luke does the robbery, then uses his motorbike as a getaway vehicle and hides it in a truck driven by Robin. Luke uses his share of the money to win back Romina's trust and visits her and his son more often. He asks Romina to be able to give the baby ice cream for the first time, and the three spend some quality time together, but Romina is sad. Kofi objects to Luke's presence and the two get into a fight at Kofi's house, resulting in Luke's arrest after he hits Kofi in the head with a pair of pliers. Romina files a restraining order against Luke, vowing that he will never see his son again. After Robin bails him out of jail, Luke insists on resuming their bank robberies. Robin objects, not wanting to press their luck, and the two have a falling-out that results in Robin dismantling the motorbike and Luke, at gunpoint, taking back the bail money he had repaid Robin.
Luke attempts to rob a bank alone and is pursued by police. He falls off his bike during the chase and seeks refuge in a single-family house, where he is pursued by rookie police officer Avery Cross. Luke retreats until he is cornered upstairs and calls Romina. Just before Avery confronts him, Luke asks Romina not to tell their child about who he was. Avery enters the room and accidentally fires his gun, hitting Luke in the stomach. Luke fires back, hitting Avery in the leg before falling backwards out of the window. Avery crawls to the window and looks out to see Luke dying on the pavement. Upon being questioned about the shooting, Avery reluctantly states that Luke fired first.
Avery gains hero status after his takedown of Luke. Avery feels remorse about shooting Luke, especially as Avery's fellow officers Scotty and Deluca illegally seize the stolen money from Romina's home and give him the lion's share in honor of his new found hero status. He later attempts to return the money to Romina, but she rejects his offer. Avery eventually tries to turn the money in to the chief of police, who dismisses him, and says he does not want to get involved or see Avery inform on his colleagues.
Following the advice of his father, a retired judge, Avery tape records a fellow officer asking him to illegally remove cocaine from the evidence locker Avery is supervising. Avery uses the recording to expose the illegal practices in the police department and pressures the district attorney to hire him–a law school graduate–as assistant district attorney.
Fifteen years later, Avery is running for public office and has to deal with his now-teenage son A. J., who has gotten into trouble with drugs. Avery has separated from his wife Jennifer and agrees to have A. J. move into his home. A. J. transfers into the high school in Schenectady. There, A. J. befriends a boy named Jason Kancam; neither A. J. nor Jason knows that Jason is Luke's son. The two are arrested for felony drug possession, and when Avery is called in to pick up his son, he recognizes Jason's name. He uses his influence to get Jason's charge dropped to a misdemeanor and orders A. J. to stay away from Jason, but the boys continue to talk.
Jason seeks the truth about his biological father, whom Romina refuses to discuss with him. Kofi, who now has a daughter with Romina, finally tells Jason his father's name. Jason discovers Luke's past on the Internet. He visits Robin's auto shop, and Robin tells Jason more about Luke, including his superior motorbiking skills. Robin shows Jason a newspaper article with a photo of his father and the officer who killed him. Back in school, A. J. invites Jason over to his house for a party and guilt-trips him into stealing Oxycontin for the party. Jason eventually gives in to A. J., and arrives with the drugs after stealing them from a pharmacy. At the house, Jason sees a framed photograph of Avery and realizes that A. J.'s father is the man who killed his own father. Jason confronts A. J., but the two get into a heated argument and Jason is hospitalized after A. J. beats him to a pulp. Romina shows up at Jason's bedside, only to be scolded when Jason regains consciousness. The next morning, Jason breaks into the Cross family home and beats A. J. at gunpoint.
When Avery arrives, Jason takes him hostage and orders him to drive into the woods. Although Jason had intended to kill Avery, he reconsiders after Avery breaks down and tearfully apologizes for killing Jason's father. Jason takes Avery's wallet from his jacket and leaves. In the wallet, Jason finds a photo of himself as a baby with his parents, which Avery had stolen from the evidence locker. The police take Avery home, where he finds EMTs treating A. J.'s wounds. Sometime later, Avery wins his bid for New York Attorney General, with A. J. at his side. Afterward Jason is seen purchasing a motorbike, reminiscent of his father's, from a farmer in a rural area. He pays with cash, ostensibly from Avery's wallet. When asked if he has ever ridden before Jason simply starts the bike and drives away, presumably intending to start anew. Sometime later Romina receives an envelope addressed to "Mom". Inside is the old photograph of an infant Jason with Luke and herself the day they went for ice cream.
- Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton
- Bradley Cooper as Avery Cross
- Eva Mendes as Romina Gutierrez
- Dane DeHaan as Jason Kancam
- Emory Cohen as A. J. Cross
- Ben Mendelsohn as Robin Van Der Hook
- Rose Byrne as Jennifer Cross
- Mahershala Ali as Kofi Kancam
- Bruce Greenwood as Bill Killcullen
- Ray Liotta as Peter Deluca
- Harris Yulin as Albert Cross
- Robert Clohessy as Chief Weirzbowski
- Olga Merediz as Malena Gutierrez
The Place Beyond the Pines premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2012; it received a limited release in the United States on March 29, 2013 and was widely released on April 12, 2013. The film grossed $279,457 from 4 theaters with an average of $69,864 per theater. The film ended up earning $21,403,519 in North America and $14,082,089 internationally for a total of $35,485,608, above its $15 million production budget.
The Place Beyond the Pines received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 80%, based on 197 reviews, with an average score of 7.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ambitious to a fault, The Place Beyond the Pines finds writer/director Derek Cianfrance reaching for—and often grasping—thorny themes of family, fatherhood, and fate." On Metacritic has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for the Indiewire "Playlist" blog, Kevin Jagernauth praised the film as an "ambitious epic that is cut from some of the same thematic tissue as Cianfrance's previous film, but expands the scope into a wondrously widescreen tale of fathers, sons and the legacy of sins that are passed down through the generations". David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised the acting, cinematography, atmosphere, and score, but criticized the film's narrative flow. In The Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin drew attention to the film's "lower-key and largely unstarry third act" that was criticized in early reviews. "In fact, it’s the key to deciphering the entire film," he wrote. Collin drew parallels between Gosling's character and James Dean's Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause, and said Cianfrance's film was "great American cinema of the type we keep worrying we’ve already lost."
Henry Barnes of The Guardian gave a mixed review, writing: "The Place Beyond the Pines is ambitious and epic, perhaps to a fault. It's a long, slow watch in the final act, a detour into the next generation that sees the sons of Luke and Avery pick away at their daddy issues together. Cianfrance signposts the ripple effects of crime with giant motorway billboards, then pootles along, following a storyline that drops off Mendes and Byrne before winding on to its obvious conclusion." A negative review came from Slant Magazine's Ed Gonzalez, who criticized the film's plot, themes, "self-importance", shallow characters, and melodramatic nature.
Top ten lists
- 5th — Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
- 6th — Kristopher Tapley, Hitfix
- 6th — Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
- 7th — Total Film
- 9th — Den of Geek
- 9th — Kyle Smith, New York Post
- 10th — Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post
- 10th — Steve Persall, The Tampa Bay Times
- No order — Stephen Witty, The Star-Ledger
- No order — Claudia Puig, USA Today
- "The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)". Box Office Mojo.
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- Pearson, Jonathan. "A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times". SchenectadyHistory.org. July 30, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
- Scott, A. O. (March 28, 2013). "Good Intentions, Paving the Usual". The New York Times.
- Chitwood, Adam (October 16, 2012). "The Place Beyond the Pines, Starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, Set for Limited Release on March 29, 2013". Collider. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "The Place Beyond the Pines". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). 2013-01-21.
- "The Place Beyond The Pines Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (2012-09-07). "TIFF Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins". The Playlist. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Rooney, David. "The Place Beyond the Pines: Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Collin, Robbie (2013-04-11). "The Place Beyond the Pines, review".
- Barnes, Henry (2012-09-08). "The Place Beyond the Pines – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Gonzalez, Ed (2013-03-15). "The Place Beyond The Pines". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- "2013 Film Critic Top Ten Lists| Film". Metacritic. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- LaSalle, Mick. "'Place Beyond the Pines' addresses moral conflicts". Houston Chronicle. April 4, 2013.