Greta Gerwig Out, Rose Byrne In ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

I’ve been praising the moves Derek Cianfrance has been making with The Place Beyond the Pines ever since I first learned of the project. First there’s the plot of the film; a professional motorcycle rider turns to bank robbery in order to support his newborn son and a rookie cop vows to start his career off right by taking the robber down. Just hearing those words arranged in that order makes my inner five-year-old squeal. Then there are the actors Cianfrance cast in the leads. He got the quirky, charismatic Ryan Gosling to step in as the bank robber and the newly crowned, proven leading man Bradley Cooper to sign up as the cop. Those guys are both good, and watching them play off each other should be fun.

Finally, Cianfrance wrapped the package up in a nice little bow by picking a couple of actresses I enjoy to play the love interests. He got Eva Mendes, who is crazy-gorgeous and seems to have real potential as an actress, to be Gosling’s baby mama, and he got one of my favorite young actresses working today, Greta Gerwig, to play Cooper’s character’s wife. Things were great, I was all ready to sit back and wait for this one to come to theaters. But now we’ve hit a stumbling block.

It turns out that Gerwig never actually signed on the dotted line to appear in this movie, and because her upcoming schedule is oh so busy, she needed to drop it from her schedule. There’s some rumbling about promotional duties for Whit Stilman’s Damsels in Distress and the film she’s currently shooting, Woody Allen’s The Bop Decameron, being all of the work that she can handle at the moment. Damn. There is a silver lining to this sad cloud, however.

Cianfrance wasted no time in getting a replacement lined up, and it’s somebody who I’ve recently become a fan of. Stepping into Gerwig’s shoes will be actress Rose Byrne, who I’ve been seeing for a while but only just started paying attention to after watching her play different sorts of characters back to back in Bridemaids and Insidious. She seems versatile and is very easy on the eyes. I’m not gonna lie, the loss of Gerwig still stings, but Byrne being named as the replacement should get me through these tough times. I still really want to see how this movie turns out. How about you? [Vulture]

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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