In the new A-list-heavy flick The Place Beyond the Pines, all signs point to prestige. Behind the camera, writer-director Derek Cianfrance is coming off of 2010's Blue Valentine, a critical darling that solidified star Ryan Gosling's industry clout and earned Michelle Williams an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In front of the camera, Pines co-star Gosling is joined by recent Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, and story wise, it's an ambitious three-part drama that'd scream "Awards bait!" is this were, say, November or December.
Throughout The Place Beyond the Pines, Cianfrance goes out of his way to achieve credibility—so what's up with the random moment of white-boy rap that happens during its third act? When co-star Emory Cohen busts a few unfortunate rhymes, Cianfrance's film immediately joins the ranks of other motion pictures, both good and bad, that have, whether intentionally or not, tapped into that universal truth: The sight of white folks rapping will always cause a double take.
Of course, talented lyricists like Eminem have been able to defy the odds, but Dan Aykroyd and Topher Grace? Not so much. For an overview of this often embarrassing phenomenon, have a look at this brief history of white people rapping in movies. And just hope that your melanin-free skin is also thick.
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Written by Tara Aquino (@t_akino), Matt Barone (@MBarone), and Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)