The proper way to describe the connection between my mind and body by leaving the room after watching Driver is somewhat close to shattered. This is a film I certainly want to watch a couple of more times before getting into a deeper analysis (oh, the details!), but I must write down some words for the time being. I am as dazzled as one would be after watching a lesson of cinema that wouldn't even let him stand up. A lesson of screenwriting, of directing, of editing, of cinematography, of acting I believe. You've got a pretty rare character, brilliantly written, inspired in Alan Delon's collaborations with Jean Pierre Melville (chiefly The Samurai), and the French filmmaker's influence persists throughout. Ryan Gosling goes into one of the most fantastic performances I've seen (other actors are great too). You've barely got dialog and the lines that remain are short and incisive, reminding us of David Mamet or, and that goes for the premise too, of Walter Hill's The Driver. It also imports the director's fluency in horror film aesthetics (from Mullholand Drive to Cassavetes, he says) and the film noir. Mixing gore (the film is dedicated to Alejandro Jodorowsky), suspense, love story and fabulous action sequences (car chases), this is something like an LA neo-noir action drama, that not only emerges itself into the past but also makes us look at the future, by imagining how will Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice be like. And the songs, and the lettering, everything sounds so appropriate. I don't even remember the last time I've jumped off of the chair in an action sequence. Written by Academy Award winner Hossein Amini, adapted from the homonym book by James Sallis, it guaranteed Nicolas Winding Refn the award for Best Director in Cannes'11, following filmmakers like David Lynch, Iñarritu and Julian Schnabel (2001, 2006, 2007) who even got the Academy nomination, the Coen brothers in the same situation (1996) and other masters like Paul Thomas Anderson, Wong Kar-Wai or Pedro Almodóvar. Digitally shot.
I will make sure I watch the film a couple of more times before writing a longer and more detailed piece on it. It deserves it.