It’s also one of the most bold and authentic depictions of family and the wedges that get driven between us.
The Place Beyond the Pines is a story of fathers, sons, and the consequences of their actions that explode and rip through their lives for over 15 years. This sprawling epic has more in common with a Greek tragedy than other conventional dramas.
The story begins with a motorcycle stuntman named Luke Glanton running into an old flame after one of his shows. Luke comes to find out that she is raising a son that he had no idea existed with another man. He hastily quits his job, and through a chance encounter with a mechanic named Robin, comes to take up residence in a trailer behind an auto body shop. Meanwhile a cop named Avery, with a wife and son of his own, finds his life intersecting with Luke’s with life altering consequences for themselves as well as everyone they love.
If this sounds heavier than a dog funeral that’s because it is, but it’s also one of the most bold and authentic depictions of family and the wedges that get driven between us and the ones we love I have ever seen. Predestination is a heavy theme at work in this film and the final scene asks the audience to question the implications of your choices as well as the choices of your family. I found myself considering if my life may have been decided long ago by my own family, as the decisions they have made become forces of nature that will echo throughout not only my life, but the lives of those to come. It’s haunting stuff with unmatched emotional complexity, and I consider it to be the best film ever made.