Writers: Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Stars: James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson
An art auctioneer (James McAvoy) plots with some criminals (led by Vincent Cassel) to steal a painting, but can’t remember where he hid it. So he goes to a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) for help. Sounds simple, but it twists so much that it’s not completely clear what really happened. Still, the movie is worth it. Director Danny Boyle is always a superb craftsman and his slick, beautiful and edgy style is on full display. Performances are sufficiently ambiguous, but it’s really Boyle who’s the star.
GAY ANGLE: All 3 leads expose flesh, but none of it is especially sexy.
Place Beyond the Pines
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio,
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Anthony Pizza
This hard-to-remember title is actually the native tribe’s name for Schenectady, which is where the movie takes place…in 3 parts. First, motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) decides to stay in the town where he’s fathered a child (with Eva Mendes). His turn to crime segues into part 2, when a good cop (Bradley Cooper) faces corruption on the force. Part 3 takes place 15 years later. Director Derek Cianfrance LOVES Gosling (they did the self-indulgent “Blue Valentine” together). He lingers on his face in extreme closeups, while Gosling broods and emotes. The rest of the cast is also strong, but it’s the complex, compelling script that involves (except the contrived clincher near the end). This is a relentless downer, but a completely absorbing experience.
GAY ANGLE: Don’t arrive late or you’ll miss Gosling’s tight, tattooed torso.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.