On Thursday July 21st 2011, a.k.a, the first day of Comic Con, we were able to get passes to attend a screening for the movie ‘Drive’. The movie was introduced by the director Nicolas Winding Refn, Ron Pearlman and TYF favorite, Carey Mulligan. Both of us (Gaby and Lucy)
fangirled talked to Carey and got her autograph. It was magical you guys. If you haven’t already, click here to see our coverage of Film District’s Comic Con panel, which included Drive. Also, at the bottom of this post check our videos from a special Q&A with director Refn.
On with the reviews, here’s what we have to say about Drive.
So I’m in my seat after introducing myself to my favorite actress ever as well as getting her autograph, yes it was Miss Carey Mulligan, and the excitement is just too much to me as I realize that I’m about to see one of the most talked about movies of the year. As I’m settling in my seat trying to dwell on the moment, BAM, electronic 80s-esque music starts blasting the speakers and I’m watching the landscape of Los Angeles, the streets, and finally Ryan Gosling’s nameless character, standing over a window in some building talking on the phone, explaining the rules about his job of being a gateway driver.
‘Drive‘ is a truly one of the bests films I’ve seen this year, if not the best one so far. Ryan Gosling’s performance as the driver is by far one of the few characters that don’t need to say much, just with a glance or a smile the message is sent and you can completely understand his actions and the motives behind them. The driver has this tough guy façade, where he says what needs to be said, no extra dialogue is added to this character, and within the action scenes I was able to feel this adrenaline that no other action movie that I’ve seen has made me felt as if I’m in a car chase in a highway while Ryan Gosling maneuvers the wheel. The driver’s love interest is Irene (Carey Mulligan) who is the driver’s neighboor and the mother of Benicio (Kaden Leos), whose father is in prison. A friendship between the driver and Irene happens but it doesn’t go into anything more than that until Benicio’s father, Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac) comes back home from prison and this leads him to a ‘job’ that goes all kinds of wrong and now people go after the driver.
There are many elements of the film that make me say that this is one of the best films of 2011, let’s start with the direction. I have never seen any other movies directed by Refn, but I will after seeing ‘Drive‘. In ‘Drive‘, Refn does a fantastic job making the audience perceive the intensity of the scenes, often juxtaposing the amount of intensity: whether it is a fight and enhancing the violence of it or just a glance between the driver and Irene he (Refn) makes this in a slow motion with upbeat music in the background that emphasizes the moment and in a way gives it a greater meaning. The soundtrack is brilliant and without a doubt after seeing the movie you will want do download it. Besides Carey and Ryan, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks also do a fantastic job as supporting actors.
I could go on forever talking about how this film is so great and why everyone, and I mean it, EVERYONE needs to go see it because after September 16th it will be what everyone talks about!
Drive has been on my radar for a while. Mainly because one of my absolute favorite actresses, Carey Mulligan, is starring in it. I had looked into it, aka IMDb’ed it, and found that this movie had a very impressive cast and crew. Ryan Gosling is the lead, and despite his good looks, the man is an amazing actor. He always picking different and edgy roles or films, which is what I find fascinating about him. The rest of cast is great, including Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks. The director, Nicolas Winding Refn, is someone I’ve been sort of hearing about; he directed Bronson, which I heard so much praise for. Hence, I was very excited for this film.
Come May, Drive premieres at the Cannes Film Festival. My Twitter feed was full of praises for this film, exponentiating my excitement for it. Nicolas Winding Refn was awarded Best Director at Cannes. I thought, Yeah, this movie was going to be the sh*t.
A couple months later, I’m at San Diego Comic Con, where Drive is having a panel and screening. Of course, I attended both. Film District’s panel with both Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive was one of the best moments of Comic Con. (Click here to check out our coverage of it.) The panel got me pumped for the screening.
After watching Drive, my friends and I sat still in our seats stunned. Drive, alone, is a stunning piece of filmmaking. I want to worship at the altar of Nicolas Winding Refn. (P.S. And I totally regret not getting his autograph when I had the chance!) (P.P.S I wrote this review weeks so I met him again and got his picture with him last night!)
Drive is about a Hollywood stunt driver, who also moonlights as a getaway driver. He gets involved with a bad heist, which in turn puts a hit out on him.
There are so many things to love about this movie. The storyline is gritty but Refn somehow makes it beautiful and heroic. There are so many beautiful and harmonious shots in this film. It’s so aesthetically pleasing, and at the same time it’s packed with meaning and tension. He moves swiftly from soft to harsh moments, while still retaining the same amount of intensity. That elevator scene will most likely become one of the most memorable movie moments of all time.
The acting is just phenomenal! One of Ryan Gosling’s best performances ever. Gosling’s character isn’t very verbose. Much of his acting had to come with gestures and facial expressions, and Gosling nails it. When he does that little smile when looking at Carey Mulligan’s character, ladies (and some gents), you will die. Carey brings a lot of poise and sweetness to her character. She’s not exactly the damsel-in-distress; she’s strong and resilient. Bryan Cranston plays Gosling’s mentor, a crippled mechanic who is always unlucky in business. Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman are the villains. Any doubts about whether Brooks can play a villain are thrown out the window immediately after watching this movie. Brooks plays ruthless and unpredictable to a T.
All the wonderful filmmaking and acting makes Drive great. But the music takes it to another level. The music is unexpected. It’s this 80’s sounding electronica. I’m not a music aficionado or expert, but I can definitely say that I loved it. It gave the film an even more unique vibe. It complimented the film so well. It heightened your emotions, added more depth to the characters and scenes. It did everything that music is supposed to do in film and did it perfectly.
The film doesn’t get released for another month, but I urge you to see it once it does. I can go on and on about how wonderful it is. It’s truly one of the best films of 2011. I’m counting down the days until I can see it again. I predict Drive getting a lot of attention during awards season and deservedly so.
Drive will be released in select theaters September 16th.
Drive Screening Q&A with director
I was lucky enough to see Drive again last night and be part of a Q&A with director Nicolas Winding Refn. Drive is one of my favorite movies of the year, so I was psyched to be in the presence of Refn again. One of the coolest things he said last night was about how important it is not to let yourself get comfortable with doing art. It’s all about taking risks and leaving your comfort zone, and that ultimately will lead you to create something brilliant. I just wanted to share a little of his wisdom with our readers. Anyway, watch what more Refn had to say about his latest movie in the videos below! Enjoy!
Refn talks about casting Albert Brooks as the villain.
Refn discusses the 80’s vibe of his latest film, “Drive,” and filming in Los Angeles.
Refn discusses his interesting choice of music for his latest film.
To see pictures of Refn’s Q&A, click here to get directed to our Facebook album.
Don’t forget about our latest TYF Giveaway Contest! Click here for details on how to enter!