Ryan Gosling is not your average movie star. Despite having been offered roles in nearly every major blockbuster under the sun, the 33-year-old actor continues to gravitate toward much more experimental fare. Cannes has often been the launch pad for his more outré work, including Blue Valentine, Drive, and Only God Forgives, all of which premiered at the annual film fest.
Gosling has once again returned to the French Riviera with another oddity, only this time he's behind the camera. Lost River marks the actor's directorial debut, and based on the plot synopsis, Gosling has really swung for the fences. Christina Hendricks stars as a single mother who becomes embroiled in a sinister fantasy world when her teenaged son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town.
While none of that is evident in the first teaser of the ambitious project, we do get a good sense of what Gosling was going for. He made an art film, pure and simple. By the looks of it, Gosling was heavily influenced by his pal Nicolas Winding Refn, whose movies are known for their heavily oneiric imagery and deliberate pacing.
The initial reaction out of Cannes has been particularly scathing, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian calling the film "colossally indulgent, shapeless, often fantastically and unthinkingly offensive." While those kinds of acidic jabs might offend some lesser filmmakers, something tells us the actor-turned-director won't mind. After all, the best art is supposed to be divisive, which works, because Ryan Gosling is officially an artist.
Click through to watch the trippy first clip from Lost River.