“Drive”: A very 1980’s feel

Everyone told me I had to watch this movie. That might have had to do with “everyone” being women who were in love with Ryan Gosling. However, I’m sure car fanatics would say the same thing.

Gosling played the main lead in “Drive”. The character has no name, he’s just the “The Driver” and that’s pretty much all he does, he drives.  He’s a stunt driver part time, works as a mechanic with Shannon played by the very talented Bryan Cranston. He is also a getaway driver for thieves. It’s a good thing that “the Driver” works on or drives beautiful classic cars and the chases scenes are crafted old-fashioned with a confident driver.  He’s “the Driver” and he should know his material best.

The movie becomes complicated with the generic plot of mob bosses from different sides. Gosling is concerned with helping his next door neighbor Irene played by Carey Mulligan and her son to remain safe. Her husband owes money.

Critics loved “Drive” because it reminded them of the gritty 80’s L.A. movies and that’s what it was. This film had a predominant 80’s soundtrack and gave it’s location gave off this 1980’s vibe. I’ve not seen many 80’s heist movies, but I would have to agree that it must seem like “Drive”.

The beginning sequence of the film sets up the type of character that Gosling is: quiet, cunning, agile like a fox. I wish the rest of the film carried this vibe throughout. His character however changed slightly when Gosling got involved with Irene. He got too attached, but maybe that was the point. He actually cared about someone. He would put up a fight. I guess I have to look no farther than the elevator scene that switches from romance and than abruptly violence to protect her.

One surprising thing about this movie was the reappearance of Tren Reznor’s “Hand Covers Bruise” from the “Social Network”, such a defining piece. I’m surprised he let “Drive” use it.

This film is nominated for best sound editing. Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis, the two sound editors definitely did an excellent job of being able to weave great moments of sound.  I especially loved the combination that came from the radio, the police radio, car tires and dialogue in the opening sequence.

Oscar Nominations:

  1. Best Sound Editing



More than Books: “An Education”

I must admit that I watched “An Education” yesterday because it was the shortest movie on my list. I know I’m running out of time. Don’t tell me about it because I know it already.

So my take on “An Education” is that I was very impressed. At first I had no idea what this movie was about. I knew that Carey Mulligan who is nominated for an Oscar is Shia Labeouf’s girlfriend. Now she is something more, she is a damn good actress.

This movie starts off with Carey Mulligan as Jenny, a school girl whose father makes her work very hard so she can get into Oxford. She has no hobbies or any fun activities on the agenda because they aren’t important to succeed in the application process for Oxford University. She takes up the cello because her father, Alfred Molina, says it will look good. When she asks to practice cello, he tells her no because that’s her hobby or interest and doesn’t have to be good at it.

The whole movie changes when she accepts a ride from David, a 30 something year old man, played by Henry Sarsgaard. At first, he seems like a creeper and the kind of person parents tell you to avoid. For Jenny, he is a breath of fresh air. She can talk about her love of french movies, songs, art  and what makes it better for her is that none of these conversations involve Latin or studying.

The movie starts to pick up as her grades start to drop and she goes off galavanting with David and his friends, Danny and Helen. How does her extra strict dad let her go? He’s lied to. He’s told they are going to Oxford for the weekend to meet C.S. Lewis when in reality they are going to party and what not. David even signs a copy of “Lion Witch and & the Wardrobe”.  This is only the start of lies and the life of partying, smoking and getting dressed up. David and his friends kinda reminded me of the Buchanans from ” The Great Gastby”.

A particular area that I loved in the movie was when Jenny goes to Paris with all of them. First off, I’ve never been to Paris and on screen, it looked liked beautiful. Also part of those scenes in Paris that I loved that the scenes were linked with the transition of a camera lens clicking. The camera lens clicking mimicks the pictures David takes of Jenny.

“An Education” is about a school girl’s education and her road to go to Oxford. It it also however, about an education of life.  She learns that David isn’t who seems to be, she learns of sex and love, she learns of heartbreak, she learns about who she can trust. She learns that the world is a complicated world and by the end of the movie she’s only 17. “You seem to be old and wise.” “I am old, but not wise.” Jenny has done a lot of foolish things. She was being a human being that was in love. She got ahead of herself which she realizes she thought she had freedom with her new rich, but fake friends.

Mulligan is deserving of her nomination. She had great lines in the movie and delivered them so beautifully especially when talking to the headmistress who is played by Emma Thompson and her school teacher, Mrs. Stubbs.

I love the last line spoken in the movie, but I won’t spoil it. I hate for you to cheat through “An Education”.

Oscar Nominations:

1. Best Supporting Female Actor: Carey Mulligan

2. Best Picture

3. Best Screenplay:  Nick Hornby