A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
A love story and murder mystery based on the most notorious unsolved murder case in New York history. The original screenplay uses newly discovered facts, court records and speculation as the foundation for a story of family, obsession, love and loss. Written by
Solid true crime story has the feel of real life to it in the most important part--the details. Even when the plot makes a swerve towards "oh i can't believe that's what really happened for a second" territory--its the little details and short scenes that makes it feels true to life. (i'm thinking of the scene where Kristen dunst painfully mails this evidence indicting her husband to the senator only to have him mail it back to her husband the next day--"this is family business...and none of our affair", or the quick scene of Ryan gosling writing his phone number on the boat "in case it gets lost", or the terse "Leave A Message" greeting on Gosling's hideaway's answering machine every time someone calls.) There are a lot of little things like that throughout that really make the movie pop.
Yes its true that the story is yet another one about an increasingly sociopaths rich guy--and the unraveling of his life as he gets more and more paranoid, etc. We never really get to know why the main character starts to feel the way he does, beyond the standard he's upset that he's being pushed into a lifestyle he didn't want and doesn't feel the least bit appreciated by his dad bull crap. We don't ever know what's going on inside the main character's mind and its to the film's credit that it doesn't really try to generate any sympathy or likability on the main character's behalf--even if the director and Gosling gives us a slight clue or two as to what might of shaped his current mania. (based largely on the should be coasting but somehow still excellent Frank Langella's treatment of Gosling, Gosling's witnessing of his mom's death at a very early age, and his overall shift in attitude towards his life as portrayed by his non-verbal cues.) That the film succeeded in keeping my interest for its entire running time would be a good question to ask however. The two main performances are top-notch of course, you really get why both parties would be attracted to the other without ever really questioning it--you even get why Dunst would choose to stay with Gosling even after the first bits of crazy start appearing, and there's a lot more where those first bits came from. The film however is also very well directed--the pacing is perfect for this type of film, (the film begins right with the meeting between Gosling and Dunst thankfully wasting zero time on filler material before their courting) i've said before the small details that can make or break a true story are pretty perfect here, the tone of the film--straight face verging on very dry black comedy at times is very good too. When it was over, I really felt like i hadn't wasted my time watching it and that i was really absorbed by the story--however i could not quite place my finger on WHY the film was made in the first place. It was a good story with solid acting all around but the real question that you will want to ask at the end of the film remains unanswered in real life too (which may in fact be the reason the film was made but its still frustrating to ask a question that remains completely unsolved even in the true life story on which this is based.) This is however a solid film with a solid Ryan Gosling performance at the center that too few people will see and will probably go unappreciated for many years until some writer or blogger exploring his filmography years from now tries to pulls it out from obscurity as a re-discovery or whatever. The real story though really should be how Andrew Jarecki successfully made a more or less compelling feature film out of true life events. (something that too few documentary filmmakers actually manage to do even a quarter as well when they try their hands at fictional films.)
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