65- Drive [9.5]

A Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene, a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard.

After viewing Nicolas Winding Refn’s outstanding last film Bronson, I was anxious to see more of the director’s work. His visual style, often heightened by his excellent soundtrack, choices make Refn a filmmaker to watch out for. I’m happy to say that Drive is another example of why he may be one of the more unique directors working today.

Drive says a lot despite the sparse amounts of dialogue, largely anchored by the standout performances of leads Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. The saying goes “eyes are the window to the soul”, and be it Gosling as Driver looking through his rear view mirror or Mulligan viewing unspeakable horror, both actors do so much with just their eyes. Oscar Isaac is worth a mention as well. His scene in the hallway with Gosling is surprisingly one of the more memorable for me.

Refn seems aware of the cliches of the genre, but what makes Drive standout is the execution of the directing, editing and acting. No matter how many times a story is told, it’s the manner in which it is told that will determine whether the film will stand the test of time. In that regard, Refn’s visual flourishes matched by the largely electronic soundtrack make for one of the more compelling films I’ve seen this year. Though Drive almost proceeds at a languid pace, it felt as if it was over in no time.

There were some elements I wish were further explored. Christina Hendrick’s role was largely underwritten, and her acting took me out of her scenes. Also, the storyline involving Bryan Cranston’s character from the first act gets largely ignored until a brief mention towards the end. Regardless, Drive is a film I’m very much looking forward to seeing again. It also makes me wish I was a badass driver.



4 responses to “65- Drive [9.5]”

  1. dirtywithclass says :

    I think the general consensus is that this movie is pretty amazing I will have to check it out, if not in theaters then on dvd

  2. rtm says :

    How violent is this film? I’ve been warned that it might be too violent for me but I’m still curious about it, might rent it instead of seeing it on the big screen though.

    • Duvan says :

      Oulaaa ! Question pe9rilleuse et qui me9rite d’eatre bien interpre9te9e.Car on peut la (com)prendre dans 2 sens : Dans quel film Ryan Gosling est-il le meulleir ? OU : Quel est le meulleir des films dans lesquels joue Gosling ? Nuance, nuance, mais qui a son importance Car oui, d’accord pour dire avec bon nombre d’internautes cine9philes que Drive’ est une pellicule coup de poing, et un film instantane9ment culte pour beaucoup de raisons (mise en sce8ne race9e, ambiance singulie8re, superbe musique qui fait corps avec l’ensemble); mais le jeu tout en retenu de Ryan (imposer par le rf4le), n’est pas, e0 mon humble avis, re9ve9lateur de tout son potentiel d’acteur e0 multiples facettes.Beaucoup ont cite9 d’autres titres phares de sa filmo, dont le ge9nial Half Nelson’, of9 il incarne magnifiquement un prof borderline.Perso, mon choix se portera sur The Believer’, grosse claque e0 l’e9poque et je pense que cela n’a pas pris une ride.Pour ceux qui ne l’auraient pas vu, un rf4le cabosse9 et bien roots (e0 l’instar des premier pas de Tim Roth dans les films d’Alan Clarke), of9 Gosling cre8ve de9je0 litte9ralement l’e9cran.

  3. thejamminjabber says :

    Agreed. Drive was badass. Between this and Bronson, Refn is a god.

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