I didn’t catch this one when it came out in the theaters even though I desperately wanted to. It seemed soooo different, soooo….”2011 cool”. I’m a Ryan Gosling fan as much as anyone, and the feel of the movie from the preview felt fresh, alive. Not something very common in this day and age of sequels, prequels, and 3D-throwaway-2-hour-time-wasters.
Wow, that was a mouthful.
Then I started hearing people talk about it. How great it was. How VIOLENT it was. And I was surprised. It was hard to tell from the preview what it was really about (which I love btw…) so to hear that it was violent was strange and actually made it (weirdly) more intriguing.
When it arrived at our house via Netflix, let’s just say it didn’t last long sitting on the table next to the TV. Like not even a day.
I was not dissapointed.
Ryan Gosling is a nameless stunt car driver by day, and a driver for those who need to be driven…fast(aka bad guys)…by night. He knows the streets of gritty LA like the back of his hand and drives with a cool calmness that seems unreal but also makes you kind of want to smile. Like, who is this super cool guy?
Driver is a man of few words. Paul and I were constantly amused by how someone would ask him something and then….silence. Kind of looked like this: ”Dude, I’m not telling you anything.” SILENCE. “OK, fine I will tell you everything.” Hysterical.
Interestingly though his silence SCREAMED at you from the screen which only proves to me what we have (hopefully) known all along, Gosling means business as an actor and he is here to stay.
The rest of the cast was perfect as well. Mulligan was sad, sweet, vulnerable and touching as the mother of a boy whose father was absent, re-introduced and then absent again. Cranston is one of my favorites, character actor magic.
The violence doesn’t kick in until 30-45 min into the movie and it gets progressively aggressive. It’s reality violence, not the stuff you see in typical action movies. Its believable which makes it all that more intense.
Another amusing thing I loved about this movie (I love being amused in violent, gritty films) is how Driver sports his bloody jacket around for days after it becomes bloody. I love how a seemingly small, strange detail as this communicates so much. I wish I were as talented to be able to say so much about a character in such a non-verbal way.
This movie is brilliant. Neo-noir at its finest. Subtle, brutal.
Overall Rating: Large Popcorn, Medium Drink
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