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Drive. Easily the 2nd coolest movie ever made (after Back To The Future of course). A masterpiece of subtle characters, extreme violence, pondering, thoughtful visuals and stunning sound design.
Gosling's nameless Driver is a fascinating character, a loner with a penchant for high speed getaways and bloody violence. Not one for small talk though. The performance can understandably be read as empty or lazy, but for me, the long gazes and ever so slight changes in Gosling's expression are so fantastically subtle that it just works. The Driver is a man who knows exactly what's going on in his own head and he isn't going to share it if you don't need to know. The sequence in the elevator is one of the most romantic, swiftly followed by most the most shocking things I've ever seen, and is followed by a moment where you can see exactly what the Driver is thinking. You know it. He knows it. She knows it. Nothing is said.
The ever brilliant Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston lead a fantastic supporting cast, with Albert Brooks playing one of the most threatening and softly spoken antagonists ever put to film.
The score and soundtrack are both perfect, with Cliff Martinez echoing Brian Eno's atmospheric works and providing a low key contrast to the effortlessly cool electronic numbers that frame key moments in the story, with A Real Hero perfectly referencing the Driver's actions and motivations throughout.