Lost River Gets a Little Lost

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I so wanted to love Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut ‘Lost River’…but it gets a little lost along the way.

Ryan Gosling

The cinematography is incredible, soaked in colours that are so Ryan Gosling you can almost sense his presence in every frame. But, almost disappointingly, he never appears.

The film is definitely watchable. But somehow disappointing, and unlikely to become mainstream.

Perhaps the film would have been better if it hadn’t veered into being a fantasy feature (with a deep mystery hidden beneath a lake), and had remained rooted in reality where a real story of grit and family break-ups was being told. A story set in a town that itself was coming apart and that mirrors so many small towns around the world today…where young people no longer have a place and are forced to seek the bigger cities or an underworld to make ends meet.

Gosling’s long-term girlfriend (and the mother of his daughter) Eva Mendes stars in the film alongside Christina Hendricks (Billy) and Iain de Caestecker who plays Billy’s teenage son Bones. Billy and Bones are forced to (sometimes literally) ‘dive’ deeper and deeper into the town’s dark secret in order for their family to survive the hard times where bank managers, no matter how personal, care more about their profits than their clients.

As a director, Gosling passed with flying colours. He was also in charge of script and dialogue…and although it was good, it felt like it just wasn’t good enough for enough people to want to sit through the entire film…

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Jenni is the co-founder and chief editor of SAPeople.com, co-author of The Expat Confessions and co-parent of three gorgeous daughters. After graduating, she worked as a TV producer, political researcher and journalist in South Africa, before moving to London to interview movie stars for international magazines and to tackle British teen angst for London Weekend Television. She has also lived in Australia, and currently lives in France. Jenni is happiest paddle boarding on the Med or sipping rooibos in the bush in Africa. Contact jen@sapeople.com