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The Place Beyond the Pines

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Director Derek Cianfrance, working from a script co-written with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder, recasts his Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling (still waiting for one great part) in a daddy-issues version of Crash. The torsion here involves the fated working class, the morally compromised privileged, various legacies of failure and violence ... and some exceptionally odd voice coaching. Cianfrance again has auteurism to burn (his name alone is like something from a Cahiers du Cinéma word jumble), and so burn it he does — on ooh-ahh tracking shots, on conspicuous improvisation, on portent. But not on narrative that escapes thematic boilerplate. Oh, the humanity. Oh, the ungodly coincidence. Oh, the Bradley Cooper.

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