Lost River (2015)
Critic Consensus: Lost River suggests that debuting writer-director Ryan Gosling may have a bright future as a filmmaker, but it doesn't hold together well enough to recommend on its own merit.
Tickets & Showtimes
Watch it now
as Cab Driver
News & Interviews for Lost River
Critic Reviews for Lost River
Indulgent and movie-like, Lost River is Gosling's weird, let's-do-this-thing folly. If it is a statement, it is one made by borrowing the vivid styles of the actual filmmakers he seems to admire ...
Designed to daze and confuse, and succeeding, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut is a stunner in visual terms alone.
Ryan Gosling is a tremendously talented actor, but he should really leave the storytelling to someone else.
That Gosling is so serious about his inconsequential pronouncements, makes this mess more of a mess.
Audience Reviews for Lost River
Gosling creates an ominous atmosphere with a hypnotizing cinematography and a great score, but this incredibly pretentious and self-indulgent salad of influences - Lynch, Bava, Argento, Refn and so on - has a terrible sense of lack of purpose, with apparently nothing to say.
In "Lost River," Billie(Christina Hendricks) is told by Dave(Ben Mendelsohn), her bank manager, that she is in danger of losing her home, like so many around her. While there seems little chance for her to be able to come up with all the money she owes on her own, Dave does know of a place that is hiring. Meanwhile, Billie's teenage son, Bones(Iain De Caestecker), earns money by stripping wiring from abandoned properties all around town, earning the ire of Bully(Matt Smith).
As a director with his first feature "Lost River," Ryan Gosling shows a remarkable eye for memorable imagery, creating a post-apocalyptic fantasia out of the urban ruins of Detroit. Sadly, his writing is not on the same high level, with random story elements floating around in purely Lynchian fashion. That's with performances to match, with Saoirse Ronan and Ben Mendelsohn(who also sings and dances) faring best.
In his feature directorial debut Ryan Gosling shows us first and foremost just how stylish he can be. Very much concerned with the framing and cinematography of his piece, Lost River relies on both of these camera elements accompanied by the Johnny Jewel soundtrack to set the very specific tone that Gosling wants to elicit. Specific is the key word here because without this preference to create a distinct style that evokes a certain time period (or more specifically the photography of that time period) then Gosling's directorial debut would be almost void of anything else. And yet, the way in which everything has been composed and the way the subtle and sly story is brought to the surface is strangely fascinating. Not necessarily good, but certainly fascinating. We never really feel (or at least I didn't) that there is a solid grasp on anything that is happening. It is understood that there seems to be a super natural element to all that is going on, but compared to something like American Horror Story which tends to finely balance its style with its content while fully embracing its genre, Lost River is unable to give us a compelling story while delivering some rather interesting visual choices. Even in the climax of the film where our assumed protagonist fights to end a curse that has been put on his town and Ben Mendelsohn dances his little heart out the cinematography delves into dark shades so that we can hardly tell what is going on. It's as if Gosling has something very specific (there's that word again) that he wants to say, but is afraid to state it too explicitly. What is it exactly that Gosling's film is trying to accomplish? I don't know that I could tell you. It's too easy to say that it's all style and no substance because while the style of the piece is front and center there is clearly something attempting to be said here; a statement trying to be made-I'm just not completely clear on what that is.
read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.net
Discuss Lost River on our Movie forum!