There once was a time, apt YTV viewers will recall, that Ryan Gosling was but one fresh faced teen among many aboard a floating school, sailing across the world and getting in delightful misadventures that could be resolved in 22 minutes. Yes, we’re thinking of Breaker High. Flash forward The Notebook and a Half Nelson later and the Canadian boy has become not merely a sex icon, but a two-fold meme to boot. Oh yeah, he also acts.
Largely critically heralded (though we were more ambivalent) Drive was the one film you couldn’t escape talking about at TIFF this year (plus there was that dang song). Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) captures Gosling, a nameless stunt driver—the strong, silent type with deep emotions (again, we refer you to the College post-post-punk, synth-pop love melody)—who moonlights as a wheelman on the side. When a heist goes wrong he finds himself in a pickle, made more complicated by the growing relationship with his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, Benicio (Kaden Leos). Bonuses come in the form of crime boss Ron Perlman in a velour jumpsuit, Christina Hendricks wearing hoops, and Albert Brooks being purely evil (challenging Hank Scorpio it seems).
While the critical weight of Refn’s filmmaking may still be up for debate, the film captures a slick, neo-noir aesthetic and, from what were told from City of Angel dwellers, something of LA itself. Enough to drive anyone to if not excitement as least to The Revue! Oh!