|LOST RIVER (director/writer: Ryan Gosling; cinematographer: Benoit Debie; editors: Valdia Oskarsdottir/Nico Leunen; music: Johnny Jewel; cast: Christina Hendricks (Billy), Saoirse Ronan (Rat), Iain De Caestecker (Bones), Matt Smith (Bully), Reda Kateb (Cab Driver), Barbara Steele (Grandma), Eva Mendes (Cat), Ben Mendelsohn (Dave), Landyn Stewart (Franky); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Marc Platt, Ryan Gosling, Adam Siegel, Michel Litvak, David Lancaster; Warner Bros.; 2014)|
|"That Gosling is so serious about
his inconsequential pronouncements, makes this
mess more of a mess."
by Dennis Schwartz
directing debut of Ryan Gosling is plagued by poor
direction and a poor script. It's a fantasy thriller
with David Lynch aspirations. The adult fairy tale
is nonsensical, indulgent and is painfully tedious.
That Gosling is so serious about his inconsequential
pronouncements, makes this mess more of a mess.
River is a gutted American town that has seen its best
days. Most sane residents have left, but one family
that remains is the financially troubled single mom
Billy (Christina Hendricks), her teenage
son Bones (Iain De Caestecker ) and
toddler Franky ( Landyn Stewart). Her
devious banker (Ben Mendelsohn) offers
her a gig at a suspicious nightclub that features
realistic looking torture acts for hot ladies in
revealing outfits. Meanwhile Bones steals copper and
car parts from abandoned wrecked places. The kid is
threatened with great physical harm by a psychopath
called Bully (Matt Smith), who claims he owns the
The urban decay in Lost River symbolizes the downfall of the American Dream, and how consumerism cripples the population morally and economically. The pic loads up on surreal visuals, dreamlike fires and violence, and a sense of doom and gloom. It shoots for eye-catching visuals throughout while leaving its twisty story twisting in the wind. This thriller just doesn't make enough sense to capitalize on some surprisingly potent imagery. Gosling ventures into Lynchian territory but can't escape unscathed on his own.
REVIEWED ON 1/23/2016 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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