[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The Place Beyond the Pines opens tomorrow in wide release.]
Writer-director Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines is a rich, multi-layered narrative dripping with fatalism, guilt, honor, and no easy answers. It is an epic family saga that defies easy explanation, and rebels against the structure of a traditional narrative. His gripping tale shows split-second connections that last lifetimes, and old sins that reach across generations. Cianfrance has created a remarkable work that reaches a grand ambition with an intimate tale. And I have to tell you why it works without divulging the twists and turns of its razor-sharp script.