We talk about Ryan Gosling being a sweet boy so often that people probably just think it’s all a big joke. But you can’t ignore the fact that directors who work with him always seem to want to work with him again. There was Derek Cianfrance in Blue Valentine and again for his very next movie in Place Beyond the Pines, and now there’s Nicolas Winding Refn going back-to-back Baby Goose in Drive and now Only God Forgives. I like to imagine these directors work with him, and then Baby Goose goes home and the directors get all sad and lonely, so they secretly take the shirt he wore home from wardrobe and sleep with it, and then they dream about him all night and wake up with the room smelling like butter and maple syrup. It’s Baby Goose magic. He’s like Santa Claus, only cuter.
Only God Forgives is set in Thailand, but other than that it seems to follow the basic Drive formula: brutal violence mixed with Baby Goose looking like a forlorn puppy, and a heavy dose of bleakness offset with sweet and oddly well-matched music. It’s funny, if I try to explain Drive, it mostly sounds like a pretentious hunk of shit – mostly plotless, hardly any dialog, characters that are all weird and broken, wildly implausible crime scenes – and yet the way the scenes are put together, I’m on the edge of my seat giggling and can’t wait for the next one. I don’t know how Refn does it. The possibility for intense, brutal violence mixed with an odd mood and pleasant pacing shouldn’t be that compelling on its own, but damn if it isn’t. Opens July 19th.
“Hey, girl. I couldn’t afford flowers so I brought you an Asian.”