Going back to 2011, this was a title that several people considered a snub at the 2012 Oscars. Although it received a nomination for Sound Editing, one of biggest surprising upsets was Ryan Gosling for Best Actor, being that so much of this movie was acted with his expressions and his emotions as opposed to dialogue. When he does speak, it's brief and to the point. And, I'll be honest, this was what solidified Gosling as a good actor to me for all of those same reasons. It was just impressive.
The movie in question has to do with a nameless stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who also works as a mechanic for a man named Shannon (Bryan Cranston) and does the odd "job" as a getaway driver in his spare time.
He befriends his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her kid, Benicio (Kaden Leos), but things get complicated when her husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac) comes home from prison, owing large sums of prison protection money. Whether he's clean or not, the Driver decides to help him out however he can after finding out that Irene and Benicio may very well be in danger due to his stacking debt.
This is one of those films that takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it seems to take right off. It has this dark film-noir feel to it, and there's not really a doubt in my mind that this was the role they probably looked at when they put Gosling in 'Blade Runner 2049'. Comparatively, there are similar atmospheres between 'Drive' and 'Blade Runner'. Not as in the movie as a whole, but as in the mood that's set.
The film has a certain intensity to it that contrasts interestingly enough with a relatively odd soundtrack, consisting mostly of synth wave music that totally helps set the mood. It seemed they were really going for 80's LA here, although I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that this takes place more or less present day, being that it's based on a 2005 novel of the same name.
This is also a dark film. Yes, it's dark as in violent, creepy, etc, but also just physically dark. The majority of this movie has this sort of late night theme going. If I may compare the movie to something completely random, it's kind of like experiencing a jazz cafe late at night with stunt drivers on the TV screens, and a fight breaking out in the middle of it all. But hey, that's just me.
This is one of those fun experience films that may have been largely inspired by former material, but remains it's own thing quite nicely. Opinion is usually split on this movie, I find, as a lot of it has to do with the emotions doing the acting as opposed to the dialogue. Some may accuse it of being very slow, and to some degree, it is. But if you can appreciate the subtle acting along with the overall setting, it should be a good time. I personally really enjoy it for what it is, and hope you do to!