Drive just keeps getting better: more layered, more complex, more amazing.
I read the November issue of Empire in my back pain drug haze and the reviewer compared Drive to Shane. The city as a parallel to the frontier, bad guys and good guys inextricably linked by violence, a young man protecting a child from the violence he is unable to escape…yep, sounds like Shane.
It also reminds me of the way Taxi Driver uses a driver as a metaphor for the cowboy, the city the wild landscape filled with ‘the other,’ stealing innocent children. Taxi Driver has been described as a contemporary version of The Searchers and it seems the case can be made for Drive being a contemporary version of Shane.
And then there’s Winding Refn’s own summation of Drive. He sees it as a modern fairy tale. A white knight rescuing a maiden from the leader of a nightmare world. From the vulnerable maiden, to the white car the Driver drives, and that the city looks ethereal at night: a maze of buildings, shadows, lights - Nino’s death by the beach shrouded in fog. And the landscape by day is no less surreal - the woods that seem to appear out of some strange exit out of an industrial landscape, the magical film set, and the bright sun shining down on the pawn shop in the Valley.
Add to that my paltry link to the American New Wave and De Palma’s work from the 1980s. If this film gets ignored at the major awards ceremonies, it’s going to be a real shame. Gosling’s other powerhouse performance is in The Ides of March, an ‘Oscar Movie’ that’s already getting awards recognition. But Drive is a far superior film and it makes me sad that I don’t expect much love from the Academy.
Please prove me wrong, guys.