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JDIFF 2013 reviews part 3: Teddy Bear, The Place Beyond the Pines

We’re continuing our coverage of Dublin’s premier film festival with two great movies from last weekend.

Follow all our JDIFF coverage here.

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear

★★★★

Directed by: Mads Matthiesen // Starring: Kim Kold, David Winters, Elsebeth Steentoft // Denmark
IMDB // trailer //  Screened at JDIFF on February 16th 2013

Denmark is the toast of television at the moment with shows such as The Killing and Borgen becoming the industry standard for slow-paced, moving dramas. A film that could be included in this canon is Mads Matthiesen’s new film Teddy Bear. The film revolves around the body builder Dennis (Kim Kold) and his search for love. He lives at home with his possessive overbearing mother (Elsebeth Steentoft) passing the time weight lifting and working a security job. The contrast between the two is fantastic and gives the film much of it’s humour. Dennis learns how his cousin found love in Thailand so sets out on a vacation hoping for the same fate. Here we see the dark, sleazy and realistic aspect of Thailand. The film doesn’t just focus on the negatives and ultimately what we are left with is a sweet coming of age drama even if the protagonist is in his late thirties.

 

pines

The Place Beyond the Pines

★★★★★

Directed by: Derek Cianfrance // Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Dane DeHaan, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn // USA
IMDB // trailer //  Screened at JDIFF on February 17th 2013

I was lucky enough to catch Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance’s heartbreaking examination of relationships back at TIFF 2010 with Nigel. So it was with great anticipation that we both settled in for his latest offering The Place Beyond the Pines. It’s an epic film in every sense of the word, clocking in at nearly two and a half hours of which you feel every minute but not in a negative way. The film examines how the lives of Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper interact and explores the fallout from their brief meeting. With fantastic performances from the leads and support from the likes of Eva Mendes, a terrifying Ray Liotta and Killing them Softly‘s Ben Mendelsohn it’s a fantastic ensemble piece. Bringing to mind the great American novels of John Steinbeck, The Place Beyond The Pines, covers major issues – chiefly regret, responsibility and revenge. A film of three movements each woven together beautifully and certainly an early contender for movie of the year. Book your tickets now for its April 12th release date.

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Follow all our JDIFF coverage here.

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Páraic

Páraic wanted to be a gangster as far back as he can remember. Brought up on a diet of films he was too young to be watching by his brothers, all things 80s teens thanks to his sisters and the classics by his folks he's turned into a well-rounded (maybe a little too round) film lover. Only recently discovering North by Northwest, he longs for a train journey with a beautiful blond.

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