Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
New Trailer For In Order Of Disappearance
Stellan Skarsgård has a revenge mission
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
08 August 2014
Kyle MacLachlan Joins Agents Of SHIELD
Damn fine cherry spies?
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Terminator: Genisys
26 June 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
God’s Pocket
Empire Star Rating
Starred Up (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Empire Star Rating
In Fear (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Seduced And Abandoned (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2014: First Look At Ryan Gosling's Lost River
Has the Cannes Guru cooked the Baby Goose?

21 May 2014  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit



Ryan Gosling’s directing debut, Lost River, became the biggest non-stunt media event of the festival so far. The excitement was palpable, and queues began forming for its 2pm premiere a full 90 minutes before, with crowds stretching for hundreds of yards in all directions. Afterwards, however, there were quite a few puzzled faces; Lost River, formerly titled How To Catch A Monster is even more of an arthouse/grindhouse crossover than last year’s Only God Forgives, jumping erratically between styles in a film that echoes a number of cult American directors – Harmony Korine, David Lynch, David Gordon Green, Crispin Glover – that one wouldn’t expect his mainstream audience to know or much care about.

Though the new title isn’t quite so catchy, it does better reflect the story, which concerns a woman named Billy (Christina Hendricks) who lives with her two sons in a shabby house in a derelict part of a decaying, unnamed town. Billy struggles to make ends meet, and when the bank threatens to foreclose on her, she takes a job in a weird sex-gore-and-vaudeville nightclub run by a mysterious businessman (Ben Mendelsohn). Her eldest son Bones (Iain De Caestecker), meanwhile, has become obsessed with the city’s history; it transpires that the area was flooded to create a reservoir. There is a local superstition that the area is cursed because of that, and Bones vows to break the spell.

It’s being quite generous to say that the film is reminiscent of Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider follow-up The Last Movie, in that is not a traditionally formal film by any means. Gosling is driven by images and music rather than narrative and dialogue; images of a burning house recur, and when Johnny Jewel’s electronic score (the only strong link to Gosling’s 2012 hit Drive) isn’t dominating it, the soundtrack is littered with old tootling jazz.

Hendricks has the best, or rather the most sympathetic part, as the struggling Billy, and her wide, puzzled eyes at least give us a perspective on this weird, Beasts Of The Southern Wild-like world. Other actors – Matt Smith, Saoirse Ronan – aren’t so lucky, inhabiting roles that are never fleshed out in a film that tries to put atmosphere before anything else. It’s a brave attempt to make a deliberate cult movie (Italian horror icon Barbara Steele has a very knowing cameo), but Lost River never conjures up the seductive, narcotic dream-state that Gosling was clearly gunning for.
 


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

J.K. Simmons Talks Terminator: Genesis
The actor promises a 'really intelligent' re-imagining
Alfonso Cuarón May Wrangle Fantastic Beasts
Update: He won't tackle the Potter prequel

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Classic Feature: Empire Meets Uwe Boll
'I'm probably the most hated director in the world right now.'

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

The 100 Greatest Games Of All Time
You voted, we counted, and here they are: beat-'em-ups, shoot-'em-ups, RPGs, JRPGs, MMORPGs, RTSs, first-person shooters, platformers, sims and much more!

The Empire Podcast #124: Wesley Snipes And Terry Crews Talk Expendables 3
Plus the Empire team discuss the biggest movie news and reviews

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Battles
From smalltime scraps to epic struggles, these are the conflicts that have stunned cinema since 1989

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)