"Lost River" is a dark fairy tale about love, family and the fight for survival in the face of danger. In the virtually abandoned city of Lost River, Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two, is led into a macabre underworld in her quest to save her childhood home and hold her family together. Her teenage son Bones (Iain De Casestecker) discovers a mystery about the origins of Lost River that triggers his curiosity and sets into motion an unexpected journey that will test his limits and the limits of those he loves.Written by
Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Thomas McDonald, the actor who plays 'Skip' (the man leaving the area near the beginning of the film), is/was a real life resident of the now sparsely populated shooting location in Detroit. See more »
When Bully is under water after the car wreck he is upside down. The heels of his feet are on the car's hood and his head is under water. Yet when he exhales the bubbles go down when they leave his mouth. They should rise. See more »
[Franky walks out of his house mumbling to himself]
I'm gonna have some soup. I'm gonna go eat dinner. Come on, I just wanna eat dinner.
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There is a short scene after the credits in which the street lights switch off again. See more »
Straight off the bat, I am somewhat surprised about the overwhelmingly bad ratings this film received, and no, I won't go down the route of claiming that people "don't understand art". The more I explore art house, the more I realise it is all about preference - not everyone likes reading into films too much, and a particular style may not be appealing to everyone. In 'Lost River', Gosling clearly combines different styles of directors he worked with recently - I definitely recognised influences from Derek Cianfrance and Nicolas Winding Refn in terms of character interaction, cinematography and of course the gorgeously atmospheric soundtrack. Apart from being a learning curve for Ryan Gosling, 'Lost River' is an impressive directorial debut in a lot of aspects.
One of the successful aspects is the overall plot surrounding these strangely intriguing characters, including a family with somewhat typical problems and a protagonist teenager son, along with a love interest played by Saoirse Ronan (who also played the cute Agatha in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel') as well as the haunting presence of a "bully" portrayed disturbingly well by Matt Smith. There's also a side plot involving the troubled mother struggling to maintain her house and family through a dodgy job and a delusional boss. To put it straight, there is a lot happening in this film, yet, it doesn't feel at all overwhelming. It was obvious that Gosling went into this project with a lot of things he wanted to explore, however on the larger thematic scale it seems subtle, at times focusing on style over content with its beautifully composed shots accompanied by an enchanting score reminiscent of Winding Refn.
On the negative side of things, the character interaction feels slightly unrealistic at some points, and overall originality is barely visible. However, "originality" isn't entirely necessary to create an unsettling art house flick - Gosling succeeds in this and definitely deserves praise, especially being his writing and directorial debut. To conclude, 'Lost River' is a disturbingly enchanting addition to the expanding genre of art house - undeniably deserving its spot not only as an adapted experiment paying homage to great directors, but also as a successful collaboration of under-appreciated talents.
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