The Cannes Film Festival is somewhat unique in that its audiences feel entitled – obliged, actually – to boo the crap out of films that don’t live up to their collective expectations, whatever those might be. On Tuesday, Ryan Gosling unveiled his directorial debut, Lost River, “a modern day fairytale [set] against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city,” and the immediate response was harsh. Boos reportedly drowned out the applause, and some unimpressed critics and journalists quickly took to Twitter to express their antipathy in a contest of colorful language. Grantland’s Wesley Morris is currently the clubhouse leader on denigrating the film, writing, “If a $200 haircut and $900 shades were given lots of money to defecate on Detroit, the result would be Ryan Gosling’s directing debut.”
Not everyone was so cruel. IndieWire’s Anne Thompson tweeted, “Impressive impressionistic well-wrought debut for #RyanGosling with Lost River. Very @DAVID_LYNCH!”
Lynch and Gosling’s Drive director, Nicolas Winding Refn, seem to be the names most mentioned as influences on Lost River, which stars Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.), Saoirse Ronan, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). Click below for some of the online reaction and the film’s first teaser trailer – which, if nothing else, captures some of the WTF that seems to be sprinkled throughout the film’s reception.