Before We Saw the Trailer, We Thought: "The Place Beyond the Pines," Derek Cianfrance's anticipated follow-up to his 2010 indie breakout smash "Blue Valentine," was the hottest buy out of last September's Toronto International Film Festival.
And Now? The trailer suggests a high-stakes crime drama that delivers an emotional wallop, while still serving the action and intrigue the genre demands.
Shrouded in secrecy before its world premiere save for a promotional still and a vague plot synopsis, the drama impressed critics upon its unveiling (Indiewire's Eric Kohn gave it an A-), culminating with Focus Features acquiring North American rights. Now with a March 29 limited release in the books, the company has unleashed the first official trailer for the Ryan Gosling/Bradley Cooper-headlined film. If the preview's a solid indication, we're in for something special.
Opening to Gosling's deep breathing paired with a tight shot of his impossibly ripped torso, is always a good idea. The promo then quickly establishes his character's dilemma: Unable to provide for his child (mothered by a deglamorized Eva Mendes) via his stunt-biking skills, he decides to use said skills to rob banks with a partner and thereby re-enter his baby's life.
Cut then to a couple, one of evident greater means, portrayed by Cooper and Rose Byrne. Their connection to Gosling and Mendes is not immediately evident, but once it's established that Cooper works on the police force, it doesn't take long to connect the dots. What then follows is crop of tightly cut scenes (Ray Liotta pops up as one menacing cop), backed by a sparse piano track that lets the action do all the talking.
Gosling, sporting a slew of artful tattoos and bleached-blond hair, appears in top form; intense and commited as ever. As for Cooper, coming off the career high that was "Silver Linings Playbook" is a tough act to follow, but he looks to have succeeded with a role that's evidently less showy, but no less unexpected from an actor best known for appearing in "The Hangover" franchise.
Watch the trailer below and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below: