“Lost River” Cannes Reviews Round-Up

May 20 • by Lindsey • No CommentsLost River, Reviews

Lost River” premiered at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival earlier today and the first reviews are coming in. The movie is getting mixed reviews so far and sadly some of them are pretty negative yet most of them note that they do see potential in Ryan as a director. A selection of reviews can be found below, and we will edit this post when more reviews are released.

4/5 stars
“The last actor of the stature of Gosling to have his own film debut at Cannes was Johnny Depp. That film disappeared after the premiere, a fate unlikely to befall Gosling’s debut, which although occasionally baffling in a narrative sense, is sufficiently dazzling. As with Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, this film will be either loved or hated. It was booed at the end of the screening at Cannes. Those not enthused by Gosling’s abstract look at the death of America will no doubt levy accusations of pretentiousness. For my money, there is enough substance and intellectual awareness here that the star’s fans will still be delighted.”
-Kaleem Aftab, Independent

“All in all, Lost River feels like a student film with an A-List cast. Its homages are worn so prominently on its sleeve, it’s difficult to really tap into the creative identity beneath, but it’s an intriguing – if not entirely successful – debut. As a learning curve, it’ll likely be a steep one, and while this is definitely not one for the mainstream, film fans are guaranteed to find a whole hell of a lot to talk about.”
-Matt Risley, Total Film

“Ryan Gosling made his debut as a writer-director today with Lost River, a stylish but muddled drama/thriller which screened out of competition at Cannes today. Directors whom Gosling has worked with as an actor, especially Derek Cianfrance and Nicolas Winding Refn, are obvious, maybe too obvious, influences here, giving Lost River a cluttered, patchwork texture. As first features go, it could be a lot worse, but given Gosling’s high profile, it’s likely to earn a good deal of scorn.”
-Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“Watching this, it is obvious why Gosling made “Drive” or “Only God Forgives” or why he’s drawn to Derek Cianfrance or why he would jump at the chance to work with Terrence Malick. I admire Gosling’s dedication to pushing cinema’s boundaries, and I am confident that he will continue to do so both with other filmmakers and in any future work he does as a writer/director. But “Lost River” is a beautifully dressed minor effort, a movie in which all the muscle in the world can’t transform the thin, thin script into something more. I sincerely look forward to whatever’s next.”
-Drew McWeeny, HitFix

2/5 stars
“Having been answered enthusiastically in the affirmative – the same response might have met a plan to open a restaurant or market a brand of mango chutney – Gosling has made his helmer’s debut. The result clunks. It is colossally indulgent, shapeless, often fantastically and unthinkingly offensive and at all times insufferably conceited. Yet it is frustrating precisely because it sometimes isn’t so bad. There is something in there somewhere – striking images and moments, and the crazy energy of a folie de grandeur. 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

C-
“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 (the score, by “Drive” soundtrack contributor Johnny Jewel, is one of the film’s best elements), and can be fitfully interesting. Thus, it’s not a particularly auspicious debut for Gosling, but not one that suggests he should always stick to the day job, either.”
-Oliver Lyttelton, IndieWire

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