Hollywood reclaims the Embassy screen in style with our Closing Night screening of the film that took the Best Director’s laurels at Cannes this year.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
“If The Fast and the Furious franchise borrowed liberally from 1980s action tropes and ditched plot in favor of sheer speed, it would probably resemble the mad hustle of Drive, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s thrilling foray into the Hollywood arena. Combing a memorably gritty Ryan Gosling performance with the breakneck tempo of the getaway cars his character handles for hire, Refn churns out a hyperactive love letter to road rage with unapologetic glee. It’s a total blast. The tense pedal-to-the-medal routine begins in the opening minutes and continues, sporadically, all the way through the bloody finale…
A speed demon for hire whose risky gig eventually lands him in trouble, Gosling’s character finally allows the actor to play the sort of tough guy role that fits his slick demeanor. For his day job, the driver moonlights as a stunt double, suggesting that his only life exists behind the wheel. That addiction becomes troubled when Gosling falls for his soft-spoken neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), a fragile woman raising her young son while his father is stuck in jail… Rounding out the cast, Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks relish their opportunities to play slimy one-note villains… As Gosling increasingly takes on the role of lethal avenger, intent on guarding Irene and her child from harm at all costs, Drive not only delivers a prolonged adrenaline rush – it has adrenaline wedded to its DNA.” — Eric Kohn, indieWIRE