Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Jason Flemyng Plans Reign Of Blood
He's making his directorial debut with a vampire action film
Exclusive New Stills From Entourage
Ari Gold and the gang rug it out
Latest Insurgent Poster Online
Tris channels Trinity for a fresh image
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy And More In Talks For Ghostbusters
SNL players Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones working out deals
Chris Pratt Wanted As New Indiana Jones
Disney's got early plans...
Danny Boyle Locks In His Steve Jobs Cast
Katherine Waterston and more set as production boots up
Liam Hemsworth Offered The Lead In The Independence Day Sequel
He may fight the aliens in ID Forever
First Poster For Ted 2
Grin and bare it
Morten Tyldum Taking On Passengers
Imitation Game director set for sci-fi romance
Colin Firth Aboard World Yacht Race Drama
The Theory Of Everything director James Marsh will hoist the sails
Frank Grillo Haunted By Stephanie
He'll star in Akiva Goldsman's horror thriller
Slight Update On The Last Of Us Movie
Screenwriter Neil Druckmann checks in
Octavia Spencer Joins Seacole
Playing Jamaica's Florence Nightingale in biopic
The Huntsman Suffers A Dearth Of Dwarves
Snow White sequel dispenses with the diminutive
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
YESTERDAY
Eli Roth's Knock Knock Hits Sundance
Keanu and Utah are reunited
More Movie News

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

RELATED REVIEWS
Black Sea (2014)
Empire Star Rating
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
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The X-Men TV Series: 10 Possible Plotlines
Mutants on a budget? We suggest some ideas for Fox’s new franchise extension

10 Kid-Friendly Marvel Comics That Could Be The Next Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a lot to play with elsewhere in the Marvelverse

20 Sitcom Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)