Wednesday, 5 June 2013

CULTURE HOT PICKS: Gosling delivers in compelling drama 'Place Beyond The Pines' + Bublé's latest provides a stellar mix of standards and originals

WATCH THIS: Ryan Gosling has become (almost) synonymous with dark roles that play off his luminous good looks (notably Drive and the Cannes 2013 entry Only God Forgives). In The Place Beyond The Pines, which reunites the actor with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, he virtually disappears into the part of a motor-bike bandit who embarks on a bank-robbing spree until he is finally cut down by a do-gooder cop (a superb Bradley Cooper). Gosling delivers a searing character study of a performance that anchors the first half of a deeply affecting and beautifully shot film centred on human nature, police corruption, and family -- not to mention a father's legacy of crime and wild abandon. Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta costar. Highly recommended. 

HEAR THAT: Very much like his friend and (perhaps) equally talented contemporary Josh Groban, Michael Bublé's albums have a tendency to leap-frog to the top of the charts and resonate with his diverse listenership. To Be Loved, the latest studio release by the Grammy-winning jazz and swing man is no different, having debuted atop the Billboard 200 Album Charts and featuring a delicious mix of standards and covers and originals, with such highlights as the Reese Witherspoon duet "Something Stupid"; "Young at Heart" and "You've Got a Friend In Me."

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