Often times, a film considered innovative and nonconformist is the most form-obeying piece of cinema you’ll ever find. Drive is the case. Its story pieces are assembled like the bricks of a Lego house. First the ground floor, windows, roof, then chimney. Its subject also follows in the path described by JL Godard, - “all you need for a movie is a gun and a girl”. Belmondo’s place was useless to mention, we had it by default. Gosling is Belmondo in this gun & girl story.
LESSON - it is in the STYLE where the film sets himself apart. Acting is style. Lighting. Movement, Blocking. If form is grounded, style can roam free.
*** “The kiss” scene comes like ice-cream to the desert, and the quick shift between the fantastical (lights turn off around lovers) and the reality space (killing, fighting) works great. Gosling’s look at the end of the scene, after the killing, best of his career.