Ryan Gosling’s trippy directorial debut “Lost River” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and reaction has been swift with many bashing, several admiring, and most slightly baffled or disappointed by the work.
The movie premiered to “boos and a dollop of applause” according to Variety, the style said to owe much to the likes of David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn. Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith star in the film which is partially set in an underwater city.
Amongst some key quotes from both reviews and social media:
“If a $200 haircut and $900 shades were given lots of money to defecate on Detroit, the result would be Ryan Gosling’s directing debut…” – Wesley Morris, Grantland
“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…” – Justin Chang, Variety
“It may well be strong on evocative imagery and a vibrant sense of 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…” – Mark Adams, Screen Daily
“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…” – Scott Foundas, Variety
“The film is ultimately kind of juvenile and dumb, and there are more moments where you’ll roll your eyes rather than inwardly applauding. And given the talent assembled, the emptiness at its center only makes it feel like more of a waste. But it does look great, it does sound great, and can be fitfully interesting…” – Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist
Ryan Gosling wades up to his neck into David Lynch territory in Lost River, a visual and aural sensory bath that shows some real flair but feels madly derivative at every moment….” – Todd McCarthy, THR
“The problem is, it’s like everything Ryan Gosling’s seen: David Lynch, Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn, Terence Malick, Gaspar Noe 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…” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
“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.” – Drew McWeeny, Hitfix
“Its faults are huge: its virtues less so – but they are there. Gosling has energy and appetite. There is a delirious buzz to the drama. It is often ridiculous and fatuous but often ingenious. It could yet be that Gosling will mature as a director…” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“LOST RIVER: Unholy Motors. Gosling’s Motown fantasy blitzes eye & mind. Carax/Lynch honored, audience baffled, but that’s OK…” – Peter Howell, The Toronto Star