Since its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, "A Place Beyond the Pines" has become one of the most talked about films of the season. It tells the story of Luke (Ryan Gosling), a motorcyclist who must resort to desperate measures to support his newborn son. When a cop (Bradley Cooper) becomes hot on his trail, the two become embroiled in a life altering rivalry.
After "Pines" premiered at the TIFF, the film's distribution rights were quickly snapped up by Focus Features (GE). According to the Los Angeles Times, the film has topped the wish list for most film buyers at the festival.
On Monday, two never-before-seen clips from the film hit the web. One clip shows Cooper's character giving a statement to an investigator after he's physically attacked and hospitalized. The other shows Gosling's character preparing for a robbery.
Directed by Derek Cianfrance, who previously collaborated with Gosling for "Blue Valentine," the film took five years to develop. For the most part, it has been a major hit with critics.
The Wrap's Sharon Waxman, called the film "the kind of movie that Hollywood is rarely making anymore."
"Writer-director Derek Cianfrance's 'The Place Beyond the Pines' is a rich, multi-layered narrative dripping with fatalism, guilt, honor, and no easy answers," says Mark Goldberg of Collider. "It is an epic family saga that defies easy explanation, and rebels against the structure of a traditional narrative."
David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter also praised the film but noted that Gosling's character is frustratingly similar to the one he portrayed in last year's "Drive."
"It's mesmerizing balance of steaminess and melancholy made 'Blue Valentine' one of the most distinctively intense American indies of the past few years.
"While Gosling is essentially playing the two-wheel version of his 'Drive' speed demon, the actor effectively conveys the pent-up hurt and lurking danger of a damaged man reaching clumsily for something good and pure."
Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum also believes that crucial aspects of "A Place Beyond The Pines" mirror that of "Drive."
"For those who saw Gosling's soulful-loner performance in 'Drive,' this riff is a rerun.
"Yet another night-shift diner waitress job with which the struggling single mother (Mendes) earns meager money to feed her year-old son," Schwarzbaum continues. "Is there no other job in the movie universe for attractive struggling single mothers? (Wasn't that Carey Mulligan's gig in 'Drive'?)
In "Drive," Gosling stars as an unmanned loner who works as a Hollywood stunt driver while moonlighting as a getaway driver for criminals. His character falls for a struggling single mother/waitress (Carey Mulligan). In "Pines," he becomes personally entangled with Romina (Mendes), a struggling waitress who he has a child with after a one night stand.
Gosling and Mendes became romantically involved off-screen after meeting onset.
"A Place Beyond the Pines" will hit theaters in 2013.