'The Place Beyond the Pines': A Riveting Chronicle of Criminality and Manifest Reckoning
"The Place Beyond the Pines" (2012) is a riveting and remarkably heartrending crime drama starring Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman who performs with a traveling roadshow carnival. Returning to Schenectady, New York, Glanton reconciles with his former lover Romina (Eva Mendes) and first encounters his infant son Jason—a fateful reunion that ultimately forces him into a life of crime in order to support his struggling family. Operating under the guidance of a reformed thief named Robin Van Der Hook (Ben Mendelsohn), Glanton engages in a series of daring bank heists that quickly draw the attention of the local police—undisciplined rookie officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) in particular. In a tense and dynamic showdown following a foiled heist, Cross incapacitates Glanton in startling fashion, the ramifications of which include his public coronation as a celebrated hero and appointment to the position of assistant district attorney. Co-written and directed by Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine", "The Light Between Oceans'), "The Place Beyond the Pines" is an evocative work of fiction delivered to audiences in unique form, as the storyline subsequently progresses 15 years into the future to spotlight the teenage sons of both men (Dane Dehaan and Emory Cohen). Their inevitable confluence leads to a dramatic reckoning for Cross, now a high-ranking politician, effecting a powerful chronicle of familial tumult, manifest indemnity and intimate personal redemption.
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