It looks like Ryan Gosling will be much better off keeping his handsome mug and sexy body confined in front of the cameras, not behind it. Gosling unveiled his directorial debut "Lost River" at the Cannes Film Festival this week and was met by boos from the audience.
The film is a fantasy thriller partially set underwater with the fictional concept of the fall of Detroit. The cast includes Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Matt Smith. The characters themselves are already a solid indication of the film's flaws with names like Billy for Hendricks' character and Bully for Smith's.
The film revolves around Billy, who is a single mom with a teenage son called Bones and a young toddler. Bones roams around the city scavenging for scrap metal among the wrecked houses and this brings him into a clash with Bully who is, you guessed it, a psycho bully who fashions himself as some kind of street overlord.
Billy is in some financial trouble and her banker Dave offers her a job in a bizarre club, with cabaret acts based on torture and mutilation.
Influences by David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn were evident in the film which sounds good but did not necessarily have the desired effect. Following Nicole Kidman's opening day bomb at the festival with her biopic "Grace of Monaco," it is now Gosling's turn to bear the full brunt of scathing reviews.
"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," says Variety's Justin Chang.
"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," added Mark Adams of Screen Daily
This will be Gosling second experience at a Cannes flop after last year's similar pitfall with the film "Only God Forgives," the bloody crime thriller he worked on with Refn.