Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by Hossein Amini
Based on the book by James Sallis
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, James Biberi, Kaden Leos, Oscar Isaac and Christina Hendricks
To rinse the taste of Spider-Man out of my mouth, I wanted to see an actual good movie. Here is a prime example of a good movie that had some bad marketing and came out between the summer blockbuster season and the award show season. It was lost in the mix. It's a shame. I heard great things about this movie. It was on a lot of top ten lists. I have to say that it is a good movie that didn't get a chance.
This is not just a revenge movie. This is a movie about Driver (Gosling), a part time movie stunt driver who also moonlights as a getaway driver for the highest bidder. He only gives five minutes of his time. A second over that the client is on their own. Awesome. Things get complicated when Driver integrated with the lives of his next door neighbor, Irene (Mulligan) and her son, Benicio (Leos). A wrench gets thrown in when Irene's husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac) comes back early from jail. Standard has dealings with bad people that Driver has to get in the mix.
Gosling's Driver character reminded me of classic Eastwood character, The Man with No Name with Driver chews on a toothpick having that fucking kick ass satin scorpion jacket. Driver barely utters a page worth of dialogue in the movie and he could convey lots with his eyes, his mannerisms. I think the biggest stars of the movie is the sound and the score by Cliff Martinez. The ticking of the wrist watch getting louder, the haunting music sucks you in. This movie demonstrated the right amount of tension, suspense with beautiful visuals that hearkens back movies of the late 70s, early 80s.The movie can go from being romantic and sweet with the scenes with Irene and Benicio to horribly violent with a hitman's face caving in or an interesting use of a curtain rod. I'm glad a movie like this exists.
Albert Brooks was getting a lot of Oscar buzz for his role as mobster Bernie Rose in this film. I thought he was very good in the film. The way that he delivered the lines oozed seediness and hate. Brooks won an Omie Award for not being included in the nominees. The rest of the cast was solid with Ron Perlman as Bernie's partner, Nino and Bryan Cranston as the Driver's boss.