Lost River


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Something wicked this way comes: Christina Hendricks makes faces in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut.
"The plot quickly runs out of narrative drive, preferring to deluge the senses with symbolic and surrealistic images."

Actors who turn to directing often find that the leap is a stretch to far. Such is the case with Ryan Gosling’s eagerly awaited directorial debut Lost River.

Obviously heavily influenced by directors he has worked with such as Nicolas Winding Refn and others that have passed through his consciousness such as David Lynch, Gosling has assembled a bunch of characters who only seem to have a vague connection to reality.

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Filmed in a fading residential part of Detroit which was once desirable but now has fallen on hard times it features Christina Hendricks as a single mother trying to bring up two sons (the teenager played by Ian De Caestecker) and the other by (Landyn Stewart).

Gosling follows her attempts to find work, which ends up with her being hired by nightclub whose acts include Eva Mendes as Cat. All the acts have a gory distinctly gory side to them. Hendricks’s character ups the ante by peeling off the skin of her face to reveal all that goes on underneath. And there is worse to come, but let’s go easy on the detail.

One of the brighter ideas was to include cult horror actress Barbara Steele, who does a sterling turn as an eccentric diva spending her days watching her own greatest hits.

The plot quickly runs out of narrative drive, preferring to deluge the senses with symbolic and surrealistic images.

Gosling needs to find a screenwriter with whom he can work before he embarks on any future assignment but there is evidence of talent lurking in the shadows.

Reviewed on: 21 May 2014
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Lost River packshot
A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.
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Director: Ryan Gosling

Writer: Ryan Gosling

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith, Iain De Caestecker, Ben Mendelsohn, Barbara Steele, Reda Kateb, Landyn Stewart, Rob Zabrecky, Cody Stauber, Torrey Wigfield, Wayne Brinston, Ron Causey, Demi Kazanis

Year: 2014

Runtime: 135 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Cannes 2014

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