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Drive (2011)
There are no clean getaways.
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Driver is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior, lately he's been warming up to a pretty neighbor named Irene and her young son, Benicio. When Irene's husband gets out of jail, he enlists Driver's help in a million-dollar heist. The job goes horribly wrong, and Driver must risk his life to protect Irene and Benicio from the vengeful masterminds behind the robbery.

Drive (2011)


I don’t know how many more of these kinds of movies I have room for. And how much tolerance I have for expert craft taking me to the edge of insight and stopping.

The focus of this film is an aspergers-like solitary young fellow who, when he falls into the noir world, reacts with movie competence. There’s more than a little early Clint Eastwood in the episodes, and more than a little later Welles in the noir. We never know whether the two lovers rejoin.

What makes this so effective a film is that the manner in which it is put together reflects the character of what is inside. What we see is how we see. The thing is paced in the precisely calibrated slowness in edits to match the slowness of the character’s external motions, and presumably his internal processes. Colours are more garish; optics are mixed. The novelty is that our perspective is different than usual. The normal form is that we are given some anchor outside of the poor sap we see buffeted around. Some friend, some deliberate camera persona, some ghostly cadre. Here, we subtly are placed inside the guy.

Gasper Noe does this, and honks around with the form of the film to coincide. This captures us in an unprotected way. But when Noe does it, he takes advantage of our weakness and forces us to confront some nasty parts of ourselves. He spends his time in our souls wisely.

This does not. It wastes its competence.

Posted in 2011

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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