DIR: Nicolas Winding Refn • WRI: Hossein Amini • PRO: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel • DOP: Newton Thomas Sigel • ED: Matthew Newman • DES: Beth Mickle • CAST: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way, Drive is one of the best movies of 2011. There, that should be all you need to know. But if you’re a particular stickler for knowing what a film is about before going to see it, here you go: Ryan Gosling is the nameless, borderline mute who is a movie stunt-driver by day and getaway driver by night. He falls for his neighbour Carey Mulligan, right before her boyfriend is released from prison, and the guy is barely out five minutes before being blackmailed to do One Last Job (copyright every crime movie ever). Gosling offers to help out, but of course Things Go Very Wrong (copyright every movie with One Last Job), and before you know it, Gosling has found himself in the middle of a gangster turf war.

Gosling is absolutely amazing in his role, doing a lot with very little. He doesn’t say a word in the movie’s insanely tense opening getaway, but everything you need to know is right there in his actions. Mulligan brings a real sense of fragility to her part, and her scenes with Gosling are brilliantly subtle and uniquely romantic. There is also some brilliant supporting work on display by Bryan Cranston as Gosling’s boss/only real friend, along with Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks as the femme fatale, the bad guy and the REALLY bad guy, respectively.

The whole movie is tied together perfectly by director Nicolas Winding Refn’s razor sharp application of spot on cinematography, editing and soundtrack. The quiet, blossoming moments of burgeoning romance are sharply interjected by scenes of shockingly explicit violence, but these shifts in tone don’t jar in the slightest, instead fuelling the uniquely compelling aspects of this immensely entertaining masterpiece. A must-see for any fan of modern cinema.

Rory Cashin

Rated 18 (seeIFCO websitefor details)

Drive is released on 23rd September 2011





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