Lost River – Film Review

Ryan Gosling's directorial debut is a case of style over substance

When it was screened at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Lost River was met with whistling from an indignant audience. Expectations for Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut – a noirish thriller set in decrepit Detroit with a soundtrack by Chromatics’ Johnny Jewel – were high. Playing Billy, a mother of two behind on the rent, Mad Men star Christina Hendricks leads a cast that includes ex-Dr Who actor Matt Smith as a face-chopping gang leader and Eva Mendes as a performer at the sadomasochistic club where Billy takes a job. Bar a tense supermarket stakeout, memorable moments are sorely lacking. It’s not quite deserving of whistling, but its potential to unsettle is undone by Gosling’s reliance on style over substance.

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