The best way to experience PINES is the way I did, by going in not knowing too much about it. That’s probably impossible considering the buzz surrounding the film upon its theatrical release this spring, but if you don’t know anything about it beyond my sketchy synopsis, just stop reading and see the movie. You won’t be sorry.
Br> If you need a bit more convincing I’ll tell you this. PINES is like three movies in one, with each running about forty-five minutes. Naturally, everyone’s favorite is the Gosling one, with his motorcycle riding bandit being a somewhat more human variation on his character from DRIVE, albeit one far less prone to violence (there’s only a few shots fired in PINES, and every time a gun is fired, something horrible happens). The second focuses on Cooper’s conscientious cop, and to me, this segment was the one with the least power, although it’s an important bridge between the first and third stories.
As far as I’m concerned, the absolute best part of PINES is the third, and final segment with Dane DeHaan as a boy connected to both Cooper and Gosling’s characters. A lot of people disagree, but I found this part of the movie devastating, and I think DeHaan is worthy of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Mike Patton, of the band Faith No More, also deserves a nomination for his soundtrack). Together, the three stories add up to an absolutely brilliant multi-generational saga, and a film I’ll be sure to revisit quite a few times.