Saw the movie Drive over the weekend. It stars Ryan Gosling as a mechanic/movie stunt driver that moonlights as a getaway driver for robbers and other criminals. He gets unknowingly involved in some stolen money (some = millions) and has to act in order to protect himself, his neighbour, and her kid that he's recently become to know. The movie was beautifully shot, moments of it were visually breathtaking. I've never seen a city skyline look so good in recent memory. The score was a unique blend of atmospheric synths to full blown 80s-esque selections of pop tracks. The acting was subtle and strong, the movie was an absolute treat.
Joining Ryan Gosling was the ever lovable Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Carey Mulligan and, in an extremely surprising role, Albert Brooks. Cranston plays Gosling's boss at the garage, while Perlman and Brooks play the foreboding and ever present criminals looming over the film's events. Mulligan plays Gosling's neighbour and the scenes between them are minimalist and beautiful. Albert Brooks, to repeat myself, plays an extremely shocking role in the film-- especially when you're used to him playing the loveable funnyman in movies like Mother and Broadcast News. In this movie he displays an unsettling anger that bursts out occasional;y in pure diabolic aggression.
That's what surprised me most with this movie. How extremely, extremely, extremely violent it was. I went in expecting some sort of action movie and what I got was a quiet and moving piece that exploded with moments of intense violence. This movie is not for those who are easily affected by blood and guts, as there are scenes that will give you much more than you'd expect violence wise. I don't want to give any spoilers, but the director Nicolas Winding Refn got advice from the director of the movie Irreversible on how to make a certain death look realistic. For an idea as to what the director of Irreversible specializes in: there is a scene where we see, in great detail, someone getting their face bashed in with a fire extinguisher.
Overall, Drive gets one of my highest recommendations of the year. This film is a rare slice of masterclass filmmaking. The acting, directing and cinematography are all top tier. Once again, go in cautious if violence isn't your thing. This movie is violent. Like, geez.