Sunday, July 13, 2014

MOVIE AMY Allentown native shines in ‘Pines’

August 30. 2013 3:13PM
AMY LONGSDORF For The Times Leader

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With a role as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin in the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Allentown native Dane DeHaan is among Hollywood fastest-rising stars.

The actor is at his best in “The Place Beyond The Pines” (2013, Universal, R, $30), a smart, ambitious thriller that investigates how a single crime reverberates through two generations.

“The Place Beyond The Pines,” which takes its title from the Iroquois Indian name for Schenectady, is divided into three segments, dominated by Ryan Gosling (as a motorcycle stunt rider/bank robber), Philly’s Bradley Cooper (as an ambitious rookie cop) and DeHaan and Emory Cohen (as the sons of Gosling and Cooper, respectively).

Despite a patchy third act, “Pines” stands above the multiplex pack thanks to its rich, complex story and the performances of its razor-sharp cast (including Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta). DeHaan, in particular, is terrific. His quietly implosive turn is something to see.

DeHaan isn’t the movie’s only local connection. The director is Derek Cianfrance, whose last film — 2010’s “Blue Valentine” — was shot and set in Scranton.

Much as Cianfrance made inspired use of Carbondale and Honesdale in his film debut (also starring Gosling), he gets the most out of Schenectady, which boasts dingy buildings, squat residences and beautiful woods and forests.

Cianfrance once said he loved shooting in Scranton. Here’s hoping he comes back for his next film and brings hometown hero DeHaan along with him.

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