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In this film Ryan Gosling plays as an unnamed driver who stars as a Hollywood stunt driver by day, but a wheelman for criminals by night. The Driver has no family, no history, and few emotions with his main mission being: to Drive. This all changes though when he falls in love with his new neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan). At the release of Irene’s ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac), Driver finds himself aiding Standard to perform a Heist that goes wrong. Soon finds out that the criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman) are after more than the large bag of cash. Driver than shifts gears and will stop at nothing in order to protect the girl he loves. This film has been brought to life by Nicolas Winding Refn, who won Best Director for this film at the 2011 Cannes festival.  This is a great film with its colorful visuals, solid cast and its stellar electronic score, which may be my favorite of all time.

Although the film may be called Drive, this is no Fast and the Furious. Refn took a great stride to add emotion to the story. There may be few words spoken from the Driver in comparison to other films, but his actions, and the score are able to provide you with his feelings. The scene that proves this to be true is elevator scene, possibly one of the strongest scenes in the movie but with no spoken words. This is where Irene sees the Driver’s true nature.

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Drive’s primary focus is not so much on mayhem; however the scenes when the violence does occur may prove to be disturbing and unsettling for some.  One of my favorite parts of the film is the introduction. During the beginning chase scene Refn has the camera leave the car only a few times in order to emulate the feeling of a “diver in an ocean of sharks” and we observe the whole chase from the driver’s point of view, followed by a grand view of downtown Los Angeles.  The colors in this film accompanied by Cliff Martinez’s incredible electronic score really bring a 80s vibe to it or for some a nostalgic feeling for GTA: Vice City.

Ryan Gosling is fantastic in his role; as well Albert Brooks who plays a part time cheesy action movie director and a villainous gangster. Bryan Cranston does a good role as Shannon.  Despite my full out love for this film I do wish there was another action scene involving cars. The scene after the heist had me salivating for more, which unfortunately doesn’t happen.

Drive may not be a film for everyone, but a movie I highly recommend if you love a movie with strong emotions, great characters and/or fantastic cinematography. Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn have a new movie Only God Forgives coming out soon as well, so watching Drive will give you a taste of what’s in store for that film.

★★★★★ / ★★★★★

Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
IMDb 7.9/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 93%
Nominated for 4 British Academy Film Awards
Refn won Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival

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“Any dreams you have, or plans, or hopes for your future… I think you’re going to have to put that on hold. For the rest of your life you’re going to be looking over your shoulder.”