By Parker Thompson, Contributor
What price does a father pay for his sins? Spanning three storylines over 17 years, The Place Beyond the Pines audaciously asks this question throughout. The answer, however, finds a lull part way through the film before picking up again. Despite this, The Place Beyond the Pines is beautifully shot and thought-provoking. We also get the rare treat of seeing multiple sides of a story.
Directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), The Place Beyond the Pines begins by following Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), a disheveled motorcycle stuntman performing in a state fair. His fair is about to leave Schenectady, New York, when Romina (Eva Mendes), an ex-lover of his, visits him. Glanton learns that he is father to Romina’s two-year-old son. He quits his job to stay in Schenectady and provide for his new family. The problem Glanton faces is finding a job that earns enough. We are also introduced to Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a low-ranking Schenectady cop with a bright mind, who fatefully crosses paths with Glanton.
Compelling themes are raised and held onto for this 140-minute film. The Place Beyond the Pines wraps a nice little bow around questions of sin, blame, and legacy.