James Franco recently saw The Place Beyond the Pines and was so smitten by Gosling’s performance in it that he felt compelled to write his thoughts on it for the Huffington Post. Here’s some of what he said:
“I loved the whole film and was engaged every moment of the way. But what I want to talk about is the first section, the Gosling section; I want to make love to this section.
“It starts with the sounds of a carnival over black. The first image we see is Gos’s toned six-pack, framed tight so that his head is cut off in order to focus our attention on the full spread of idiosyncratic tattoos and the impressive opening and closing of a butterfly knife, a skill Gosling mastered — he is the king of eccentric character behavior — as the character anxiously paces; in the same take, the character (we later learn his name is Luke) sticks the knife overhand into the wall and walks out the door shirtless; we still haven’t seen his face but we know it’s the Gos: the hair, the head, the strut; as we follow him through active carnival grounds the Dardenne behind-the-head shot is kept active by the developing activity of Luke: first he puts on his signature black Metallica shirt — pay close attention to all of Gosling’s clothes in whatever he does, he is a master at evoking character through dress: The Drive Scorpion jacket; the Blue Valentine two-tone leather, I mean, come on giiiiiiirl; and here a red jacket, more nondescript than usual Gosling but still cool – and then the cigarette comes out, but we only know this from the smoke that rolls back over his shoulders; as he winds though the dinging rides and flashing booths he is crowned by the chintzy glamour of the multicolored lights, and this is just so right, because this is what the character is: the smoking, brooding carnival king who will ride his motorcycle like no other into the burning twilight of legend….”