‘Driven’ to THINK

It’s a very minute sort of cognitive dissonance that results when one of your favorite film writers picks apart a film you recently loved without reservation. But then again, minutiae is the stuff blog posts are made of, so instead of the paean to Drive I’d scribbled down some notes for (in short: Nicholas Winding Refn’s directing is a skillful Twin Peaks-style tightrope walk above the valley of camp, and his movie’s the best filmic argument this year that style can be substance, with instances of violence that carry real impact and weight, and great performances from Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks, plus a little bit of teeth face from the Cranman, too), here’s Richard Brody’s take, in the interest of food for thought/devil’s advocacy/etc.:

For a film centered on the madness arising from reason, [Drive is] singularly devoid of irony; for one built on absurd contrasts, it’s humorless; for one based on rapid calculations based on changing circumstances, it’s ludicrously impractical.

There’s a lot more at the link, including some pretty fair-handed complements directed at Refn and Brooks. Please note that Brody also praised Eddie Murphy’s performance in Norbit earlier this month, which either undermines his credibility here or means he’s the gutsiest person on the New Yorker masthead or both. He’s an enigma! Look at that beard! There are SECRETS in that thing.

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