Ryan Gosling’s new film with ‘Drive’ director gets jeers and cheers at Cannes

'Only God Forgives' gets a mixed reaction

Only God Forgives, Ryan Gosling‘s reunion with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, has received a mixed reaction at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film stars Gosling as an American criminal living in exile in Bangkok, where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs business. When his brother is killed for murdering a prostitute, his mother lands in town and orders her son to exact revenge.

Kristin Scott Thomas co-stars as the mother, a character Refn (pictured below) has described as “Lady Macbeth crossed with Donatella Versace”. The film is said to be incredibly violent and Gosling, ever brooding, apparently utters just 17 lines of dialogue during its 90-minute running time.

According to The Irish Times, the film’s press screening at Cannes yesterday (May 22) ended with a clash of “genuine whoops and actual catcalls”. The first batch of reviews from film critics has been just as mixed.

Although The Guardian awarded this “glitteringly strange” film five stars, other reviewers were less impressed. The Independent branded it an “underwhelming revenge thriller” and the Evening Standard described Only God Forgives as “a very strange movie indeed”. Meanwhile, Time Out slapped Refn’s film with a one-star rating and decided “style over substance doesn’t really tell the half of it”.

Only God Forgives doesn’t open in UK cinemas on August 2, but you can watch the R-rated trailer now by pressing ‘play’ below.