Oh dear, Ryan Gosling ‘Lost River’ gets a critical bashing at Cannes


The first clip was revealed yesterday ahead of the world wide premiere of Ryan Goslings directorial debut, Lost River, and I have to say I thought the clip was just excellent. Echoing David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn, Lost River looks to be a brave, bold and ambitious first film for Gosling, and using both Lynch, Refn and also directors like Terrence Malick and even Dario Argento as his influence, surely things can’t be bad, can they?

The film premiered at Cannes yesterday, and sadly it would appear that the general feeling is that the film is a bit of a mess and rather dull. Personally, I don’t see how it can be, and judging by the more positive reviews (yes, there are plenty who loved it), Lost River sounds like an experimental tour de force filled with elements of filming I really love.

Mark Adams, Screen Daily
It may well be strong on evocative imagery and a vibrant sense danger and moodiness but Ryan Gosling’s much-hyped directorial debut turns out to be an over-cooked affair that lacks a much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions.”

Variety’s Justin Chang excoriated the film, comparing it to a train-wreck, while writing, “Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn, the results might look and sound something like ‘Lost River,’ a risible slab of Detroit gothic that marks an altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling.”

Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“Some actors turn to directing in an attempt to find a separate groove behind the camera. That could be the case on some level with this snazzy but forgettable vanity project, if only because Gosling the actor dances entirely to his own groove. Lost River suggests he felt the need to try out the same beats already being played around him.”

Chang’s Variety cohort Scott Foundas also found the film to be a yawn, tweeting, “Gosling’s LOST RIVER a first-rate folie de grandeur. Echoes of Argento, Korine, Lynch, Malick in a tedious allegory of Detroit as ghost town.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
“As beautifully presented as the imagery is… none of it registers deeply because it all seems like borrowed goods. It’s flashy enough to engage the eye, but the experience is akin to flipping through a gorgeous art photography book featuring an assortment of artists rather than one.”

Drew McWeeny, HitFix
“It is a first film and it shows. Gosling doesn’t stage scenes so much as he drops people into these environments, letting things linger in hopes that some profundity will emerge.”

Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph
“The problem is, it’s like everything Ryan Gosling’s seen: David Lynch, Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn, Terence Malick, Gaspar Noé and a splash of David Cronenberg for good measure. But these filmmakers’ ideas and imagery aren’t developed, they’re simply reproduced: think Wikipedia essay rather than love letter. The result is cinema you don’t watch so much as absent-mindedly scroll through, wondering when an idea or an image worth clicking on will finally show up.”

However, it is not all doom and gloom, and it s always best to end on a positive, and there were positive reviews which I am happy to share with you now:   BuzzFeed’s Alison Willmore implied the film was something of an arty mess, but handed out brownie points for trying, tweeting, “Yeah, LOST RIVER’s inchoate and indulgent, but at least Ryan Gosling’s interested in visuals and cribbing from edgier filmmakers. #cannes“    




Plot details are still a bit of a secret, but we do have a good idea of what the film is about thanks to last years press release, which confirmed Warner Brothers will be distributing the feature. Here is what the press release revealed about Lost River, and you will find the clip below.

Marc Platt and Adam Siegel are producing the film on behalf of Marc Platt Productions, along with Gosling via his Phantasma Films banner, and Michel Litvak and David Lancaster via the Bold Films banner.

How To Catch A Monster stars Eva Mendes, Saorise Rona, Matt Smith, Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker and Ben Mendelsohn.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER weaves elements of fantasy noir, and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son, Bones, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.

HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER marks Gosling’s first time writing and directing a feature film. Gosling is an Oscar® nominated actor having starred in films including THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, DRIVE, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL and HALF NELSON for which he received his Academy Award® nomination.

To shed a bit more light on the film, star Iain De Caestecker revealed a very small amount of information on the films story in an interview with Empire Magazine:

“All I can really say is that it centers around a family. There’s my character, Bones, his mother and his younger brother. There’s also a girl next door played by Saoirse Ronan, called Rat,” said the actor. “It’s about this family living in a town called Lost River, which is perhaps a place that was once full of family and happiness and love, and is now this town that’s slowly descending into a place without any hope. This family is holding onto the foundations of their house and everything they think they need to hold onto.”




About Matt Wavish 10001 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.