Virtually plotless, Lost River is a lurid technicolour nightmare featuring a senseless mishmash of shot types, a warped Miss Havisham and a caricaturish Matt Smith.
There’s no subtlety here; the sparse dialogue conspicuously asserts that the American Dream is a lie, and Gosling is so reliant on imagery that it’s unsurprising to learn some shooting preceded writing.
Lost River is over-burdened by Smith and Mendelsohn’s nebulous villains, and disturbingly preoccupied with gratuitous and viscerally horrifying brutal acts.
The high points are Hendricks’ soulful performance and Johnny Jewel’s suitably haunting score, yet the finished product remains this side of remarkable.
There’s more than a nugget of intrigue to this era-less, nihilism-inflected tale, but Gosling is too concerned with aesthetic and tone to deliver much of a narrative.
CAST: Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes
DIRECTOR: Ryan Gosling
WRITER: Ryan Gosling
SYNOPSIS: A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.