Distance: 3.5 miles and teach yoga class
Just off of The Place Beyond the Pines which I enjoyed for three main reasons: 1. 1 hour looking very closely at close ups of Ryan Gosling, 2. the next hours looking very closely at close ups of Bradley Cooper, 3. gorgeous wide angle cinematography of upstate New York.
Starting the with last, the town (Schenectady) was often shot from a long distance at either sunrise or sunset so the sky was filled with the beautiful pink, lavender, and orange hues of impressionism. Impressionism and the Hudson River Valley school of painting with enormous romantic vistas of Perfect America with its rock cliffs, rivers and thick forests. These are all in Out of the Pines - along with the steeples and spires of small, New England churches. So here is Perfect, Pristine America in its updated very imperfect context: mindless births, absent/even unaware fathers, police and political corruption, the list continues.
And all the items on the list are carried largely by Gosling and Cooper: each with the camera right up next to their chiseled bodies, handsome faces and clear blue eyes. The slightest bit of over acting or self-consciousness or being the tiniest out of character would have been caught and recorded. The actors were completely vulnerable - you almost got anxious for them. They were deeply and personally walking on eggshells the tension this brought to watching them added to the profound but understated and tragic tension of the entire movie.
It is not a movie for everyone - at all, and especially if you don't find long looks at Gosling an engrossing treat . And it is much less than perfect. But it drew me in, held me, had much to say and (much it was trying to say).