Drive

You know how sometimes I see a film and I get all ranty and shouty about it (first person to mention Red Riding Hood leaves the room via the virtual window)?

Yeah. This isn’t one of those posts.

I flat-out, completely, hopelessly love Drive.

I love the sparse use of dialogue. I love the spiralling pace: incredibly slow at first, but gradually increasing until–like the nameless Driver–you’re hopelessly sucked in.

I love the Michael Mann-ish shots of LA, and I love the way Ryan Gosling is busy channelling vintage Steve McQueen for all he’s worth.

I love the quiet horror of *that* scene in the garage, which left me sitting on the sofa thinking, “That’s just… mean!” because I couldn’t think of anything else that seemed an appropriate response. (And, while we’re on the subject: the lift! The hammer! Oh, god, the hammer…)

More than anything, though, I love the Driver. Not, I should point out, because I have a particular thing for Ryan Gosling (although the Ryan Gosling-as-literary-agent account on Twitter makes me smile and desperately, desperately wish that such a thing was real) but because the development of the Driver is just superb.

For the first third of the film, he barely says more than two words together–and the first time he really does come out with a solid batch of dialogue, it’s surprising and shocking; gloriously wrong-footing. The infamous Scorpion jacket is as elegant a comment on heroism – working in its own right as a superhero analogy – as I’ve seen, and while it shouldn’t work, it does.

It’s an amazing film.

And using this song is just inspired…

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7 comments

  1. I really liked this movie – it’s been a bit chastening watching the Oscars coverage, which is all about films I simply didn’t care about, and could have seen when they came out but rejected because they looked too dull, when this, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and even Warrior, which is a daft film really but one where the performances transcend the material, were all overlooked for Best Film.
    I’m becoming a proper Nicolas Wending Refn fangirl, because all of his movies are stylistically stark and strong, they are all very non-verbal, and also primarily because he deals in the relationships between men in this very interesting way – it manages to be neither wordy nor cliched.
    And the soundtrack is just great. And I like the way Ryan Gosling rocks that scorpion jacket.

    1. It’s certainly made me more interested in seeing some of his other work – I loved the way the film was put together, and I just thought the dialogue was outstanding (when it was there, of course!) Another thing which really impressed me was the use of violence: it was handled perfectly in that it was shocking. We’re so used to seeing violence in films like the Transporter series, as an example, which is essentially comic-book violence minus the “Kapow! Wham!” tags alongside it, and it was refreshing to see a film which could use violence as well as this one – but without being deliberately “gritty”.

      That makes no sense whatsoever, does it? In my head it does, honest…

    1. I’ve not actually seen most of the Oscar films this year – but I do find it utterly baffling that Drive wasn’t given a major nod, at least. I feel like it did get overlooked – but then I’d have loved to see “Senna” in the documentary category because that’s another fantastic film that didn’t get a look in. Maybe it’s a car thing..!

      1. That’s a very good point: I’m sure I saw something in the coverage of one of the other film award ceremonies about The Artist (which won that particular award) was seen as being “American” as it was partly US-funded… I can’t remember exactly what the criterion was.

        At the end of the day, though, who knows how these things really work? I’ve heard all kinds of theories about how the economic & political climate affects shortlists, and then you get into studio promotional spend and general Hollywood power-brokering and all that. I’m just glad I didn’t use the Oscar noms as any kind of yardstick, because I’d have missed a genuinely brilliant film.

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