Monday, October 3, 2011

The Perfect Movie

I’ve recently decided that I no longer want to read movie reviews before paying $14 to see anything in the theaters. Choosing to spend that chunk of change on a night out at the movies, I always hope that it will be worth the commitment. But sometimes I can’t help myself. When I get really excited about something, I want to read everything I can about it, and often that leads to soaring expectations that end in a crashing let down.

Rarely do I get the opportunity to go into a movie knowing absolutely nothing about what’s going to play out before me on screen. All I knew going into this one was what I gleaned from the movie posters on the subway: Ryan Gosling was in it. (Eh, ok. I’ve seen The Notebook. But his presence alone in a film has never been enough to pique my interest in actually seeing it.) He was probably going to be driving somewhere. And Carey Mulligan was also in it. (She is awesome. I have been on a Carey Mulligan kick as of late. Never Let Me Go was REALLY heartbreakingly beautiful. An Education was also lovely. I have not seen Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. And I probably never will.) She was enough of a draw to make me want to see what this Drive was all about.

So this is not meant to be a review of Drive by any means. I detest spoilers (and their alerts!), and I hate when people get me amped about a movie that can’t possibly deliver on such glowing praise. But I just have to tell you that I walked out of the film last Thursday night feeling completely euphoric. And I’m still going on about it to anyone who’ll listen. And now you’re my captive audience. MWA-HA-HA-HA! So here it is in 1000 words or less. Why Drive was the most perfect movie ever made:

The soundtrack. 
The music had a very 80s synth-pop feel, and each song felt as if it was created specifically for the scene it soared into. Every tune was better than the last. I have listened to these three on steady repeat for the last two days and I don’t think I’ll be stopping anytime soon. It was perfect. 

The love story. 
Usually I am the first to pick bones with the evolution of a relationship on film not being convincing enough. Often they could use one or two more scenes to really demonstrate a connection being established between two characters, but this was not the case in Drive. Micky and I have actually been debating this all weekend (it was his only little issue with the film, which he agrees was otherwise perfect), but I think the romance between the Gosling and Mulligan characters was unusually and flawlessly conveyed with very few words and many long silent stretches that were full of electricity. It was poetry.

The tension. 
In so many ways Drive was a good old-fashioned heist movie. The moments between the crashes and the bloody explosions had me holding my breath and pressing my hand to my throat more than the actual “action” shots themselves. Gosling played a completely cool James Dean-type, a wanderer with no past and no future. He was an unflappable professional who you had complete confidence would get the job done. Parked and waiting in one scene, the seconds of his watch ticking closer to the five minute deadline, you see him suddenly tighten his grip on the steering wheel and you realize he’s starting to lose his cool. The sound of his leather driving gloves rubbing against the steering wheel was a subtle gesture that precisely conveyed a sense of impending danger. It was profound. 

Oh. And Gosling’s pecs were pretty hot too.

- Cathleen  


  1. I have always felt a little turned off by Ryan Gosling since the Notebook but we just watched Lars and the Real Girl this weekend and he was AMAZING in it. This, coupled with your recommendation, has got us totally stoked to see Drive.

  2. Ugh, Catie, we finally watched this and we were devastated. I am totally with you on the relationship building and Dan was with you on the soundtrack but overall I was so disappointed. I ended up not caring at all about what happened to his character. Such a bummer.


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