When the narrative shifts 40 or so minutes into Derek Cianfrance’s third feature, its new protagonist begins to see himself in the first – a structure flirting with the idea of unity and/or transference, as if the goal is to make a crime drama Persona. But what we really get is a crime drama Forrest Gump, dealing exclusively in cliche and convolution; overfamiliar, lacking in reality, this ain’t David Simon. It’s also an incredibly thin film, actors brooding for the majority of the run time while the egotistical director nudges the audience, “Get it? Get it?”
Mistaking an escape from Hollywood convention for bravery, while simultaneously fooling for the auteur show, some critics failed to ask the simple question: what is the point of this film? The structure belies a (sometimes broken) causal link, pointing out the impact we have on each other. Well no shit.
I just wish I could say the same about the film.