A phenomenal movie it was less a movie than a play in 3 parts. There was a focus on each father and then the sons. There is no hero or villain here. Everyone is equally flawed and F*cked up.
There are subtleties that should not go unnoticed when you see it. The mention of ice cream for instance and whether that dream is fulfilled. Also, some of the camera work. I am trying to keep these thoughts sparse because if you haven’t seen it I want you to see it the way I did, with minimal knowledge about the plot’s outcome. But there is some camera work that I found great in the way that it tied in the characters without being too obvious. In the very first scene you see Ryan Gosling’s character, “Handsome Luke” walking to the tent to do his job as a motorcycle stuntman in the circus. You see him from the back, working his way through the crowd. The camera is tight in to his back, as if you are walking directly behind him and you see his head, neck and shoulders for the majority of it. He doesn’t respond to much of the recognition from the crowd, focused more on getting to his job and getting it done. Later, we meet his son and in the “third act” of the movie we get to see his son as a teenager. There is a scene where his son is walking through the crowd of a party, completely focused on getting somewhere, and it is shot in almost the same manner, only the camera may be a bit tighter to the subject, which is the son, Jason. They even have a similar gait.
There are other things you will notice when you see it, and maybe they will stick out to you as they did to me. The cast is excellent and does such a wonderful job of their characters. Like I said, it is a story without a hero or heroine, and it is extremely difficult to write such a story. All of them are flawed(some more than others), as in real life, and it makes the story more believable, inspiring and heartbreaking.
I hope I have inspired you to see it!!