D: Nicolas Winding Refn
Icon/Bold (Marc Platt & Adam Siegel)
USA 🇺🇸 2011
W: Hossein Amini [based on the novel by James Sallis]
DP: Newton Thomas Sigel
Ed: Mat Newman
Mus: Cliff Martinez
Ryan Gosling (Driver), Carey Mulligan (Irene), Bryan Cranston (Shannon), Oscar Isaacs (Standard Gabriel), Ron Perlman (Nino), Albert Brooks (Bernie Rose), Christina Hendricks (Blanche)
A pulsating, high octane and surprisingly violent thriller with intellect and about time too! Drive leaves car chase themed movies like The Fast & The Furious so far in it's wake it couldn't even be called a distant relative.
Ryan Gosling puts in a fittingly subtle performance which does pack a punch (and quite literally, boy does it!!) in all the right scenes. He plays the nameless hero who works in a garage by day and in his spare time works as movie stunt driver and occasional getaway driver for criminal activities.
He tries to go straight when he gets romantically involved with his next door neighbour, a single mother (Carey Mulligan), but when her boy's father is released from prison, one last job beckons, getting him in deep trouble with a local mob boss (a scarily brutal Albert Brooks).
Gosling's austere performance adds much mystery to a conscientiously ambiguous character, while Mulligan impresses just as much as her debut in An Education. The films best performance however belongs to Albert Brooks, cast brilliantly against type as the main villain.
The visuals are impressive, with well-edited chase scenes and an electronic score/soundtrack which compliment the movie well.
Kudos to the Bafta's for recognising this as one of the best movies of 2011. Shame on the Oscars for not.