Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River has been lambasted by movie critics following its premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival on Tuesday (20May14). The Notebook actor stepped behind the camera for the fantasy thriller, previously titled How To Catch A Monster, which stars Mad Men beauty Christina Hendricks as a struggling single mum who is drawn into a dark underworld in a mysterious town on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.
The movie was unveiled this week, but it drew mixed reactions from attendees, many of whom booed the picture, while a few others tried to counter the negativity with a smatter of applause. Reviews for the film proved to be far from favourable, with Variety's Justin Chang branding it an "altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling", and quipping, "Lost is indeed the operative word for this violent fairy tale".
The muddled storyline for the film, which also features former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as a neighbourhood troublemaker and Gosling's real-life girlfriend Eva Mendes as a nightclub boss who performs bloody rituals, also drew scathing comments from the Telegraph's Robbie Collin, who awarded it just one out of five stars and declared it "mouth-dryingly lousy". He noted similarities to the work of David Lynch, Gosling's Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and David Cronenberg, but added, "These filmmakers' ideas and imagery aren't developed, they're simply reproduced."
Kate Muir from The Times also dismissed the movie as a "lurid mash up of Lynch, Refn and (artist) Edward Hopper. In a bad way", while Mark Adams of ScreenDaily.com called the film "an over-cooked affair that lacks a much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions".