TIFF 2012: Cianfrance’s ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is Mesmerizing

Karma. Fate. Sheer luck. Violence begets violence. These are some of the bigger themes touched upon in The Place Beyond the Pines, the latest film from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance. Going in to the world premiere screening at TIFF 2012, I had no idea what we were going to get, besides a blonde-haired Ryan Gosling playing a motorcycle stunt driver. Where would it go from there? What’s the actual story? Where does it all lead? Cianfrance tells a massive, generational story that spans beyond just Gosling into the lives of two families from the small town of Schenectady in upstate New York. And it’s mesmerizing. Mesmerizing for many reasons. Place Beyond the Pines is actually three different stories (essentially almost three short films) combined into one epic film, showing pieces of these different families, eventually culminating in a timeline set 15 years ahead (in present day) focusing on the generational …

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