The MITL Mother-In-Law Film Review: THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

By at May 18, 2013 | 7:07 pm | Print

Ed. Note: For years, my retired, moviegoing mother-in-law has been texting me capsule reviews of films she’s seen, usually right after she leaves her local theater with her also-retired friends. Awesome, motherly bon mots like “I didn’t look at my watch once.” grace my messaging window with regularity.

Well, now the MITL mom-in-law is branching beyond IM, expanding her opinions for our enjoyment and entertainment. And I can assure you this: If you’re a senior lady who likes general Hollywood fare, her opinions are as reliable as a Roger Ebert thumb. Read on.

The Place Beyond the Pines Movie PosterThe Place Beyond the Pines is a complex story of people’s intertwined lives, and it is too long for any senior who enjoys an outing to the theater. If I’d paid more attention to the length of the movie before going, I would not have brought in a coffee and would have sat next to a wall so I could have stood up to relieve the pressure on my lower back. And had I paid more attention to the synopsis, I would have realized it was not a movie I’d enjoy.

It has too much violence, too many troubled parents and children who can’t seem to find their way to find any peace, and too much corruption. Because it was filmed in a location I’m familiar with, I thought I’d enjoy seeing this movie. Sadly, I was mistaken.

While Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling are excellent in their portrayals of their characters, it was tiring to see Ray Liotta play a morally corrupt individual. I’m sure the city of Schenectady, New York, which has had its share of bad police publicity, was not too thrilled to see this side of the film. Who knows? Perhaps it felt therapeutic to get it out in the open. Many police departments have their own share of corrupt behavior—it is hard enough to read about it in the newspaper and even harder to see it on the big screen.

I found that one of the screenwriters is a native of Schenectady, and perhaps wanted to incorporate some factual information into a fictitious story. He had, in my opinion, three possible screenplays rolled into one, making the movie a drawn-out and wearisome production.

In my theater, everyone was a senior, and as we exited and headed for the long bathroom lines, all the comments were similar—too long and too complex.

On a separate note, I need to pay more attention to the venue location. Over the years that I’ve attended screenings at this particular [arts] theater, I’ve disliked more movies than I’ve enjoyed. I must remember that when I see a film there, I need to think twice before shelling out time and money.

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2 Comments


  1. Dan O., 11 months ago Reply

    It’s a long movie, but that’s not what bothered me. I just stopped believing in what I saw, and continued to view this movie as a movie, and nothing else. I wanted something that touched me more in a way. Good review.


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