Tuesday, September 20, 2011


DRIVE - 100min - R

Drive is a perfect example of great execution in filmmaking. The precision in timing, pacing, cinematography and storytelling are testaments to the creator’s talent. From the first scene you are plunged into a dark noire view of LA and its characters. This is movie making at its finest. But I have to be honest and say that I was not very entertained. Let’s sum up by saying I appreciate the art of this film, but I won’t be seeing it again. I give this movie a green light because of the exquisite film making, but because I didn’t enjoy the journey, I will have to default it down to a yellow.

The Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a Hollywood stunt driver by day and at night he works at a garage. He is also a part time wheelman -- no questions asked. He is a god behind the wheel. The Driver gets involved with the family next door. Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son, Benicio (Kaden Leos), are awaiting the return of her husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). The Driver helps them out and gets caught up in their problems when the father’s past comes back to threaten their new beginning. The acting was terrific. The one that stands out is Albert Brooks who shocked me as a cold-blooded killer. I can’t remember him doing a role like this. He was chilling. Ron Pearlman is doing his bad guy routine and that is something he does well. Ryan Gosling’s character was very stoic and laconic through the entire picture. His performance reminded me of the gunslinger played by Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven. It’s harder to get the feeling of a character through when you have almost no dialog to work with. It’s a testament to his skill as a performer that he could relay so much emotion with so few lines.

The director Nicolas Winding Refn did an awesome job of captaining this picture. I have not seen anything else from him but I am going to be looking to correct that. I wonder what elements form this film will be used in other films. I look forward to more movies from him. The screenwriter was Hossein Amini another new one for me, I am going to have to keep an eye out for them in the future. His story had elements that were caked in subtext and alternate meanings. I liked the choices that his characters had to make.

DRIVE PAST HERE!!! Spoiler Warning!!!!!

I really love one part of the elevator scene, when he has to make a choice to be with the woman he loves or turning into the monster that she needs to protect her. In doing so he realizes that he can never be with her. And the way that the scene was framed in the elevator was great work. The door closing between him and her is great symbolism.

Carey Mulligan is a wonderful actress. Her performance in this film is great. Love the torn expressions of a woman who has to do the right thing for her family but loves this new person in their lives. The burgeoning relationship between them is well done.

The kicking a person’s head flat was one that could have been shortened. Ryan Goslings rage was a bit too long and it did not play well. There were chuckles from the audience when I went to see it. I wonder if they were caught in not knowing what emotion to relay? I think he is too much a hero type to dabble in the dark vigilantly story elements. But I could be wrong. I would have never picked Albert Brooks as the mob boss either.

Christina Hendricks was also in the film but her role was a small one with very little to work with. She needs to do more movies. I have enjoyed her body of work on the small screen, but Hollywood needs to give her a role with some substance.

I have had long conversations about the movie Crash with my sister. She and I had two views on the film, she did not like it and I did. I understand her point of view now. I know this was a really well done film, but I did not get enjoyment from the journey it took me on. What movies have you had the same feeling about?

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