The Films of Nicolas Winding Refn
With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II
I'm the Angel of Death: Pusher III
Drive (September 29/11)
Based on the novel by James Sallis, Drive follows a nameless stuntman/getaway driver (Ryan Gosling) as he finds himself embroiled in an increasingly deadly scenario involving a beautiful neighbor (Carey Mulligan's Irene), her volatile husband (Oscar Isaac's Standard), and a vicious mobster (Albert Brooks' Bernie). Filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn opens Drive with an exciting heist sequence that ultimately isn't indicative of what follows, as the director, for the most part, subsequently straddles the line between art-house and mainstream cinema - with the movie's deliberate pace and contemplative atmosphere demanding the viewer's patience on an ongoing basis. And although Gosling delivers an expectedly striking and thoroughly compelling performance, the actor's character, a strong-but-silent type, never becomes as wholeheartedly sympathetic a figure as one might've hoped. It's ultimately the inclusion of several astonishingly electrifying moments - eg a robbery that goes horribly wrong - that confirms Drive's place as a better-than-average thriller, with the film's irresistibly stylish atmosphere compensating for its general lack of context and substance.