Gosling & Smith combine in Lost River (2014)

Lost River
Matt Smith as Bully in Ryan Gosling’s Lost River (2014)

If you’ve been wondering what Ryan Gosling and Matt Smith have been up to since finishing up on Only God Forgives and Doctor Who respectively, the long and short of it is that they’ve been working together on Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River (2014). With what can only be described as an odd offering of a teaser trailer (below) to go on in terms of the look and feel of the movie, there’s a certain amount of speculation in terms of its potential appeal, despite its star appeal.

However, having premiered recently at the Cannes Film Festival to relatively downbeat reviews, there’s a fair amount of disappointment on the cards for fans of the two big names when the film goes out on general release later this year. To add even more negatives into the mix, the sheer magnitude of the critical mauling Lost River received at Cannes has left a little doubt about its distribution, so the UK and North American release dates are unconfirmed as of yet.


The story itself, is a sordid, dark and generally grim one in which single mother, Billy, takes a job in a disturbed burlesque nightclub to look after her two sons only to find that her boss, Dave, insists on her taking part in much more than she’d signed up for. The difficulties continue as her eldest son, Bones, has got the added problem of being in the firing line of the local criminal thug, Bully (Smith), whose demeanor is characterised by crazed and extreme violence.

Though the film is initially set in a ruined city landscape that has little hope of salvation, the film also takes an odd twist as Bones discovers an underwater utopia. The indication is that this equal and opposite reality is the positive alter-ego of the depressingly debauched, financially squeezed and rundown town in which they fester away in, but it’s just as unattainable as it is easy to imagine.

Alongside Matt Smith, who shaved his head for the role shortly after finishing up on Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor, the cast includes Iain De Caestecker as Bones, Christina Hendricks (Drive, Mad Men) as his mother Billy and Ben Mendelsohn as the sleazy Dave. Gosling’s other half, Eva Mendes puts in a performance as the compere at the nightclub, and Saoirse Ronan plays Bones’ love interest and neighbour, Rat. Both Mendes and Mendelsohn starred alongside Gosling in the 2013 criminal drama, The Place Beyond The Pines.

From our point of view, the more we hear about the film, the more we want to see it for ourselves, when it gets its official release date. When we first saw the trailer we thought it was a hoax and didn’t recognise Matt Smith as the inane idiot singing “look at my muscles” over a microphone speaker system, so however you look at the movie, if it’s going to be as randomly mental as the trailer then it worth watching just from a curiosity standpoint.

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