Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ryan You Can Drive My Car

"Drive" is a movie that is style over substance, but it works.  It starts with Ryan Gosling driving a car with pumping 80s retro music, and that sets the pace. Gosling is "The Driver," who leads a double life: car stuntman and garage mechanic by day, and at night he helps criminals escape by driving them. There is a very intense opening sequence that shows how he does it, and it is brilliantly done: suspenseful, heart-pumping. Gosling plays this role with subtlety, and mystery. We get to view the character through tight closeups, but we never know what he is thinking, and a lot of times, the juxtaposition between his strikingly handsome matinee idol looks and its violent outbursts is as exciting as the movie itself. He gets attached to a neighbor, played with matching subtlety by Carey Mulligan, and we get to see their relationship only internalized between their characters. But then things go awry. Albert Brooks has been winning the Supporting Actor nod for his performance here, but as memorable as it is, it's pretty slight. And I love that CHristine Hendricks gets to play something different than a sassy swinging something. I must admit that the blood and gore here is just a little too much for squeamish me, and there were a lot of times I was turning away from the screen. It really isn't my kind of movie, but I respect it a lot. 

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