There Are No Clean Getaways
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor - whose husband is in prison and who's looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team's main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.
DRIVER leaves his apartment to the noise of Desire's "Under Your Spell", which has been nonsensically playing at Standard and Irene's party next door to the zombied joy of their guests. DRIVER looks to their door, to see if perhaps the staff at Pitchfork had robbed the place and left their iTunes playlist behind.
We pause for 4 seconds, as IRENE must calibrate her emptiest gaze in an attempt to convey longing, and match DRIVER's own highway speed emptiness disguised as longing.
We pause for 5 more seconds, IRENE has clearly sensed a staring contest has begun. DRIVER puts on his best Creepface to gain an advantage.
IRENE: Sorry about the noise
An Open Letter to Ryan Gosling,
So, first off, I'd just like to say that I really enjoyed your performance in this film. Had a real satisfying 'postmodern man with no name' kinda vibe to it. Nice one. Not so much with the Gangster Squad thing. I guess that was probably one of those projects that looked better on paper, huh? Hey, you win some, you lose some. I haven't seen The Place Beyond The Pines yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll like that one, too. You sure have come a long way since that bizarre tv show about the highschool on a cruise ship. Never really got into that one, but a jobs a job, right?
"I used to produce movies. In the 80s. Kind of like action films. Sexy stuff. One critic called them European." - Bernie Rose
Amongst the many joyous viewings of Drive that I've had over the past two years, I've never noticed how the cinematography makes it look like it's straight from a graphic novel. Every shot is glossed over with a vivid streak of emphasised colour that makes each of the characters look even more beautiful or even more ugly than they normally would. The pulpy nature of the plot definitely lends itself to this comic-book coolness, and evokes all of the superhero stories you ever loved. After all, as the tagline reads, 'Some heroes are real'.
I cannot imagine…
Breathtaking cinematography, and a stimulating soundtrack, work together to make Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive one of the most seductive pieces of cinema in recent years. Its polished neo-noir style is intoxicating, taking a lustrous Los Angeles skyline at night as a backdrop to its story of crime and revenge. Often criticized for its overuse of the pause, it is the film’s confident handling of tension and catharsis that makes it a silently powerful thriller.
Ryan Gosling is our hero without a name, the protagonist of a modern day fairytale, and on paper his story is simple. A mechanic turned stunt man and getaway driver, he befriends his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan), and through helping her husband ends up inadvertently involved…
The tech writer John Gruber is fond of a Kubrick quote about the truth of a thing being in the feel of it rather than the think of it, a phrase that for me perfectly explains the appeal of Nicolas Winding Refn’s noirish adaptation of the James Sallis novel. Right from the first hotel room scene, through a near wordless 15-minute opening stanza, the foreboding atmosphere of an after-hours, back-streets Los Angeles takes hold. The ambient, minimal score by Cliff Martinez blends with deftly selected French electro-pop to deliver a moody, European sensibility that extends through the production design, colour palette and camera work.
Flashes of sharp violence punctuate the film but are short-lived, like those in the fairy tales…
A beautifully crafted film, with consideration in every shot and a kick-ass soundtrack. Winding Refn certainly earned his Best Director award at Cannes this year, helped greatly by the outstanding performances of Gosling and Mulligan. I'll definitely need to see this again, and while I'm not much a fan of ultra-violence I couldn't imagine it working any other way in this film.
It's only 3 and a half years into the decade, but in retrospect, this film feels like the decade's most essential to date. Ridiculously rewatchable, reaches to the past while feeling perfect for the present. I'm not sure if the film's conclusion totally works, but this film has about a dozen classic shots/moments (the first 10 minutes, the credit sequence, the elevator scene, the drive through the aqueduct, the prosthetic/mirror reflection shot, the kid telling Gosling about the shark). It also boasts the best supporting cast I've ever seen. Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman (Jewish gangster who owns a pizza place...brilliant!), Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac (star of the upcoming Coen Brothers flick). Every role, no matter how small, fits perfectly.
To polished and stylish that every other moment would be the best part of a lesser movie. Every element manages to avoid overstaying its welcome and keeps you occupied. Very hard to dislike, and one of a rare breed of a crime thriller that avoids being either perfunctory or excessive.
I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you're on your own.
Nicolas Winding Refn's film adaptation of James Sallis' crime novel of the same name not only stands up to repeat viewing, but gets better. The neo-noir amalgamation of genres works where others have failed miserably because it doesn't draw attention to the themes it's borrowing from and only uses what works for the film's story instead of using it as a gimmick.
Mmm, the music.
Even when it probably shouldn't Drive still works rather well for me. Perhaps it's the quietly brilliant Ryan Gosling (or the almost equally strong supporting cast). Or maybe Nicolas Winding Refn is something of a genius.
Either way I really rather enjoyed this one.
I liked it but I wasn't crazy about it, I think it's very much style and not as much substance. Some of the characters are just too flat for me and lack the depth and substance that really brings them up to feel like actual people. And it's very quiet and contemplative at times, but there's not really all that much to see, I don't think the acting is up there, it's inevitable for me to compare Gosling to Clooney in the American and that performance for me really seems nuanced and restrained while still delivering a wide range of emotions, and Gosling tries, but can't really pull it off.
A little bit too brutal in the action scenes, a little bit too much love story in the rest of the film.
My wife liked it more than I did. That's not a good thing for action movies.
Drive is a case of "you either love it or you hate it". I'm not going to come out and say that some viewers just don't "get it" because I don't think that's the case. This is a movie that's all about atmosphere; from its synthpop/electronic soundtrack to the brutal violence, to the simple fact that Ryan Gosling really doesn't say much throughout the entirety of the film. It's an interesting experience. I don't think its the greatest thing to ever grace my screen, but It is undoubtedly a must-see movie.
Quite daring, original, nostalgic, and a mix of several genres and homages, "Drive" will be remembered as a cult film, but should be featured in every film class around the world. There hasn't been anything quite like it in some time.
From the retro pink titles and neon 1980's soundtrack (most of it recorded recently, however), I was mesmerized by the look of the film. Nicholas Winding Refn could have easily made it look like typical Los Angeles, but instead takes the present day story and adds nostalgia that makes it better. The muted, quite tone invoked many Jean Pierre Melville films, particularly "Le Samourai". The Driver is a modern Jef Costello, a driver with a code, as opposed to…