Lost River

Lost River ★★★★½

So it turns out Ryan Gosling is not only the most handsome man on the planet and a brilliant actor, he can also direct the shit out of a film too. Ryan please, leave some talent available for the rest of us mortal schmucks.

Lost River is...well, I'm not sure exactly what it is, but watching it is a mesmerizing experience. Just sit back and soak in it's neon beauty and become entranced by every nightmarish shot. The cinematographer here is Benoît Debie, who worked on Gaspar Noe's Enter The Void. If you've seen that then you know exactly what kind of visuals to expect, and he helps Gosling hit the same notes here. Bright colours engulf the screen, but unlike Enter The Void there's real substance here. Gosling juxtaposes the neo-noir style with a broken, dilapidated town where grass is head high and anyone with half a brain has sprinted away as far as they can go. The poverty-stricken situation of a young family forces them to make tough decisions and confront their demons in a town that's got no structure, no community and no hope. The plot isn't necessarily as important here as the visceral, pervasive imagery that's more content with allowing us inside the lugubrious characters heads than providing a traditional narrative. Gosling wears his influences on his sleeve, and does his heroes justice with an enthralling, unearthly film that's as easy to become submerged in as the titular river.

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