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12 May 2015

Blu-Ray Review: Ryan Gosling's Directorial Debut Features Great Performances, but His Script's a Mess

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Ryan Gosling makes a wacky, strange directorial debut with Lost River, using his own bizarre script. He’s clearly influenced by David Lynch and, most notably, frequent collaborator Nicolas Winding Refn. Unfortunately, his movie has more in common with the awful Only God Forgives than the awesome Drive.

The story involves a woman named Billy (Christina Hendricks, a co-star of Gosling’s in Drive) who is trying to protect and raise her family in a fictional city that’s falling apart. Her oldest son, Bones (Iain De Caestecker), scavenges old houses for copper, and finds himself in direct conflict with an area thug.

Billy takes a job in a club straight out of a David Lynch film, where the likes of Cat (Eva Mendes, Gosling’s girlfriend) stage bloody murders onstage. The club owner is Dave (Ben Mendelsohn, the best thing in the movie), who has some evil intentions with his new hire.

Various styles conflict and crash in the film, with little of it making sense. However, the individual performances are good; in fact, Hendricks and Mendelsohn are both quite good.

The movie also looks great, which is usually what happens when you hire Benoit Debie (Enter the Void) to shoot your movie. Gosling proved he can make a nice-looking movie.

Next time out, he should leave the scripting duties to somebody else and concentrate on directing. He has potential behind the camera, but his script leaves a lot to be desired.

Special Features: What? No extras? That’s OK, because I wasn’t interested in going any deeper into this film. 

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