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If you are looking for something weird, kind of trippy, but not good enough to tell your friends to watch, you may like Lost River.
Director: Ryan Gosling
Writer: Ryan Gosling
Trigger Warning(s): Intent To Rape Depicted
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
In a nearly desolate town remains only a handful of people. One being Billy (Christina Hendricks) who remains for she doesn’t want to lose the house in which her kids grew up in; her eldest son Bones  (Iain De Caestecker) who tries to help his mom with her 3 month behind bills by selling scrap metal; and then there’s Rat (Saoirse Ronan) who is Bones’ next door neighbor and love interest.
As for the overall story, it is all about the town going to hell, the bank wanting to buy all the property up, and Billy doing her best to stay put. Something which leads her to make a deal with Dave (Ben Mendelsohn), who is the bank manager, to work at what can best be described as a fetish club, as Bones puts his life on the line by pissing off Bully (Matt Smith). Now, as for whether they can save the house from being destroyed, much less if the mom can find steady enough work to pay the money she owes, you can only find out in Lost River.
There is a certain level of oddness to this movie which makes it appealing. Mostly in terms of watching Cat (Eva Mendes), perform on stage and seemingly get faux-murdered. Alongside this, there is a slightly sweet romantic plot when it comes to Bones and Rat which, admittedly, isn’t strongly focused on at all, but it has enough time dedicated to it to be sweet.
I don’t know whether my film taste are perhaps only for simple films, or perhaps this “art” styled film is just trying too hard, but this film is within that grey area between trying to be taken seriously, and perhaps trying to be campy, with it being hard to understand the full intent. If only because, when it comes to Billy and Dave working together, in the fetish joint, things become weird in such a way which isn’t intriguing at all. And while off-putting is the first word which comes to mind, the best way to describe it would be weak shock value.
Something which can also be seen through Smith’s performance as Bully. For in his weird, bootleg, The Warriors styled character, again you aren’t presented an interesting character, nor a complex one. Bully, if anything, is written and performed as weird just to be weird. Which could have worked if he was comical at least but, like Dave, there is no comic appeal to the character so it is just pure WTF? Type of entertainment. That is if you want to call it that.
Overall: Skip It
While I did enjoy De Caestecker as Bones, and Ronan’s small role as Rat, the whole Dave situation, and Bones dealing with Bully, creates such a burden on the film that I can’t recommend this what so ever. For, like quite a few films in the “Skip It” section, this film definitely seems like a labor of love which solely got its funded due to the names involved. Since, otherwise, if Gosling wasn’t the writer/ director, and there weren’t the recognizable names of Hendricks, Ronan, as well as Smith, this would likely have never gotten funding, and wouldn’t have gotten past being a repeatedly rejected script.
Things to Note
- The younger brother isn’t even of school age and doesn’t provide anything of merit to the film, so the character and actor aren’t worth mentioning.