Straight Faced – is the only term that justifies this movie. Clearly a disappointment for those who expect to see fast cars and high speed police chases and tuned up American muscle or imports! Instead Nicolas Winding Refn gives us the Chevrolet Impala and just a Mustang with very limited screening time. In no terms does this impact negatively on the Refn project DRIVE! One of the fittest performances, one of the fittest scripts and the most straight faced movie of 2011! Total Films magazine UK considers DRIVE the movie of the year. The Oscar nominations seem to think otherwise. With only one nomination in for the 2012 BIG DAY it will certainly be a hard fought battle. Going up against WAR HORSE, HUGO, and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO & DARK OF THE MOON are Lon Bender (BRAVEHEART / SHREK) & Victor Ray Ennis (HOMEALONE) in the category of sound editing for the movie DRIVE. Why they deserve to win is entirely debatable considering the contenders, however if you have watched the movie you would agree the sound editing is the essence of the movie that draws the viewer deeper into this abstract production.
With the bright pink credits, the Los Angeles skyline and the introductory soliloquy (it isn’t one, however since you cannot hear the other end of the conversation its obvious Refn is working on the characterization of the driver (Ryan Gosling)) the tone of and 80s aura is instantaneously set. A getaway driver by night and mechanic by day, the driver is entirely disconnected from the world and lead a solitary low profile life. We are not given a name to him apart from being called the kid or the driver. Evidence of how the Refn refuses the character to connect with the audience more than he wishes to. Very tactful indeed don’t you thing? Playing aside Ryan Goslings’ surprisingly brilliant driver is the graceful Carey Mulligan. The driver who lives in the same building and the same floor as Irene (Carey Mulligan) connects with her on an entirely platonic level. Their chemistry is worked in with expressions rather than words and the emotions are toyed with the sound editing rather than with touch. This is unique and a very scarce breed of an action/thriller/drama genre. Irene’s and the drivers connection is short lived when her husband Standard (Oscar Isaacs) returns home after serving jail time. Standard has unresolved issues and it doesn’t take him too long to find trouble. Irresponsible as he is this draws unwanted attention to Irene and her son as well. The driver who observes much and speaks less offers his hand in help to Standard just to make sure that Irene and the son is safe. An obvious lovers twist it may sound, however it’s discloses in an entirely unorthodox approach! There is definitely something retro about DRIVE and a little bit of art-house!
DRIVE is a must watch drama / action production which will entice you every bit as the last moment. It will be hard to walk away disappointed from this. DRIVE will be to Ryan Gosling what TAXI DRIVER is to Robert De Niro; I am certain! This being said is the race over? Is Gosling the next legend? Is it too soon to decide? I got my money on Gosling and not the Chris boys!
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carrey Mulligan, Oscar Isaacs, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks & Albert Brooks
Rated: R for strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity