For me, there’s a fine line between a thoughtful, introspective film and one that meanders along. As much as I loved the premise and tried to enjoy this film, the dialogue fell short of engaging me and I was not emotionally invested with any of the characters in this movie, save for Gosling’s Luke Blanton. Perhaps this is due to the film’s 3-part structure not allowing a full film’s worth of familiarity to develop, but I have become emotionally attached to many characters in the span of five to ten minutes, so for a film to fail at that in 40+ is worrying. Despite the film’s gorgeous cinematography, I just could not care enough about the characters to feel anything during most of the dramatic moments. There are scenes where the tension is built up very well, but it is often unsustained and the plot moves past it with nothing of substance gained. One thing I will say is that the film lends itself very well to analysis, with Gosling, Cooper, and their two fictional sons all entangled in a web of resembling traits that give insight into why they act the way they do. If you are looking for a film to write a paper on, this is a good candidate, but I would not be jumping at the heels to watch this film again.

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