Release Year: 2011
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Hossein Amini (screenplay), James Sallis (novel “Drive”)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks
Rating: Nominated for 1 Oscar: Best Sound Editing. Nominated for 1 Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks). Won Best Director at Cannes Film Festival. Nominated for Palme d’Or.
An unmaned driver (Ryan Gosling) works as a mechanic and a stunt driver for movies while supplementing his income at night as a highly skillful getaway driver. He falls for his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan), but things get complicated when her husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is released from prison.
Drive was a pleasant surprise that came out of nowhere and made immediate fans of many. An art house type film that manages to reach a large audience, most likely due both to its appealing visuals and cast. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, 2013) broke big in his home country with his first film, the brutally realistic Pusher (1996), which was also the feature début of actor Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, 2006), and though he did reach a larger audience with his films Bronson (2008) and Valhalla Rising (2009), Drive managed to find an audience his previous films did not have. Starring Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines, 2012) as the nameless driver the film begins on an intense note with our protagonist demonstrating his cool attitude and skills as a getaway driver for hire. The romance that slowly builds up between him and single mum Irene is tender and wonderful and in sharp contrast to the graphic violence that will come more and more to the forefront as the story progresses. Played almost wordlessly by the two actors at their request (see Moviegeek Info below). Mulligan (An Education, 2009) and Gosling are surrounded by a stellar supporting cast, including a limping Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, 2015) as the driver’s likeable boss; Albert Brooks (A Most Violent Year, 2014) as a chilling and flawlessly portrayed money man with ties to hard criminals (in the form of a brutal Ron Perlman); and last but not least a great Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, 2015) as Irene’s equally likeable and seemingly reformed criminal husband. Hossein Amini’s crisp screenplay and the futuristic 1980’s inspired visuals and music, combined with great performances and a director with a clear vision, makes this a unique film that has a relatively broader appeal than this sort of film usually has. Not to everyone’s taste, but if you like it you will most likely love it.
NB: Again a trailer that gives a bit too much away. Tha trailer also led to a lawsuit because a woman felt it did not give an accurate idea of what to expect. We therefore do not recommend watching this trailer before seeing the film, but you are naturally free do to do so if you wish.
Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan’s characters say very little to each other because the two actors felt that the scenes between them needed to be more focused on mood. Carey Mulligan later described shooting the film as “staring longingly at Ryan Gosling for hours each day”.
Picture Copyright: SF Film