Most critics pan the fantasy thriller, although some praise the 'Only God Forgives' star's vision in the movie.
The enthusiasm for Ryan Gosling's "Lost River" was apparently not equal to what presented by the film. After playing for one of the most packed crowds at Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, May 20, the film received mostly negative reviews.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian sounded off his opinion on Twitter, posting, "Just think. If Ryan Gosling hadn't been such a star actor, he'd never have been allowed to direct *stares into space, screams*" In a longer review, he said, "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."
Variety's Justin Chang wrote, "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."
Wesley Morris' (Grantland) comment was also harsh, tweeting, "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."
Mark Adams of Screen Daily pointed out the good and the bad, writing, "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."
HitFix's Drew McWeeny and BuzzFeed's Alison Willmore were more understanding. The former wrote, "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," while the latter added, "Yeah, LOST RIVER's inchoate and indulgent, but at least Ryan Gosling's interested in visuals and cribbing from edgier filmmakers. #cannes."
The fantasy thriller stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Eva Mendes and Iain De Caestecker among others. The film, which has got its teaser trailer released online, follows a single mother as she enters a dark lifestyle, and her son who uncovers a road leading to an underwater utopia.
The "Only God Forgives" actor also wrote the script. No U.S. premiere date is set for the movie as of press time.