Director: Derek Cianfrance. Cast:: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Harris Yulin, Bruce Greenwood, Ray Liotta. 140 min. Rated R.
Three consecutive stories: a criminal and his 1 year-old son, a rookie cop and his 1 year-old son, and the two sons accidental interaction/friendship 15 years later. This gripping melodrama about family relationships is as dark as director Cianfrance's previous film, Blue Valentine, and the notion of how the past will always come back to haunt you, is relentless. Initially, I never thought of Gosling as serious acting material, but since his above-mentioned other collaboration with the same director, he's been growing on me. And Ray Liotta is always such an enjoyably menacing bad guy. Well worth the extra-long movie time.
PS: I can guarantee the director/writer is a huge Star Wars fan. The dialogue between the mechanic and the criminal's son about how his father was the fastest motorcyclist he'd ever known, is right off of Ben Kenobi's words. Even the sunglasses he hands down the kid from his father kid is green-rimmed - the color of the light-saber Ben hands down to Luke.