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,
Young Caucasian Dan Dunne teaches history and coaches the girls basketball team at a Brooklyn high school populated primarily by black and Hispanic students. To the chagrin of his superiors, Dan bucks the outlined curriculum of historical facts in favor of the philosophy of historical events, generally discussing the concept of dialectics. As such, he captures the imagination of his students, at least in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Dan's life is in shambles. He has a distant but cordial relationship with his family. He uses illicit drugs rampantly. Although his former girlfriend Rachel was able to clean up her drug habit, Dan believes that rehab will not work for him. Due to a combination of these issues, he treats women poorly. Thirteen year old Drey is a student in his class and a player on his basketball team. Drey has her own problems. Her parents are divorced, with her father a virtually non-existent figure in her life and her EMT mother generally absent as she is ...Written by
The school used in the film (with the bright "Neon Celery" and "Key Lime" colored classroom doors), was painted by students from the school through an innovative nonprofit youth development program called Publicolor in NYC. See more »
The sun goes up and then it comes down, but everytime that happens what do you get? You get a new day.
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Dan (Ryan Gosling) is a drug-addicted high school history teacher. Drey (Shareeka Epps) is one of his students, who can see herself possibly following in her brother's footsteps and working for a local drug dealer. Dan and Drey strike up a friendship.
Dan is a smart, fundamentally decent man leading a life of quiet desperation. His ex-gf, Rachel (Tina Holmes), tells him that some people get better, and Dan is adamant in his response. Not him. Change is not for him. To another girl, he explains how he tried rehab, but it doesn't work for him. And yet Dan's desire for change is shown in his lessons to his students. He constantly describes opposites - up and down, left and right - and talks about change. From one breath to your next breath, change has happened. And yet Dan's affliction just provides more and more of the same.
The film is all about Ryan Gosling, who gives us a complete portrait of his character. You just can't take your eyes off of this guy. Whether babbling under the influence or talking with real passion to his students or just sitting quietly saying nothing at all, Gosling shows us a man, who has a lot to give, but is held down by his affliction. The out-of-nowhere flashes of humour and the many moments of vulnerability completely endear us to Dan. His friendship with Drey arouses moral instincts in him that brings his self-loathing and helplessness more to the surface. We understand Dan, and our understanding of him is mirrored in the eyes of all the supporting characters, played out by a perfect ensemble cast. So much is conveyed just in the briefest character exchanges.
So the film succeeds with strong performances and making sure all the pieces fit together with respect and care. And yet the finished puzzle isn't really as gripping as it should be. Maybe because we've been through this material before, or maybe because this is a film that lives through its many small moments and observations. With tense character-driven material like this, I was sort of expecting more flash and meltdown, but this isn't that sort of film. This is a film, where you can admire the focus, commitment, and quality, but its a slow burn - not a big jolt to the system.
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