In Place Beyond The Pines, we see Ryan Gosling play Luke, a troubled motorbike racer. When he reconnects with lost love Romina (Eva Mendes), he discovers that she secretly gave birth to his son the year before. Drama.

Desperate to provide for his new family, Luke turns to bank robbery, using his killer biking skills to get away from the police. Cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) plots to bring him down so that he can move up the ranks of the crooked police department.

Let's explore the key themes and scenes you could translate into your creative work as your submission to the brief.

Key themes:

The bond between fathers and sons

At the beginning of the film Luke and Avery are both fathers to baby boys. The things men will do – legal and illegal, moral or not – to protect and advance their sons is a recurring motif throughout the film.

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Risk and danger

When we quickly see Luke playing with a flick knife then riding a motorbike into a stunt called the Globe of Death, it's clear that risk to life and limb is a pretty strong theme from the beginning. However, these aren’t the only risks taken. Loss of honour, loss of family bonds, loss of reputation and loss of love are all there, too.

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Choices and consequences

In order to become a death-defying motorbike stunt racer with a sideline in bank robbery, clear choices need to be made. But again, there are more subtle incarnations of choice and consequences through the other characters’ storylines, from Avery’s dealing with his corrupt seniors in the police department, to Romina choosing to reconcile with loose cannon Luke. As the trailer summarizes: If you ride like lightening, you’re gonna crash like thunder.

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Key scenes:

The failed bank robbery

When Luke knows there’s nowhere left to run, he calls Romina and pleads with her not to tell their son who he was and what he did. Could you interpret this scene into some creative work?


The Family Photo

A key moment where Luke, Romina and their baby have their picture taken together with Luke’s stunt bike. Is this a silhouette you could include in your work, or perhaps the bike, in some way?

CHECK OUT THE BRIEF FROM FOCUS FEATURES, HERE

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