Last night at the Cannes Film Festival, I attended a screening of Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River. The film stars Christina Hendricks and Iain De Caestecker (above) as a dirt-poor mother and son battling demons—psychological and actual—in a rundown town doomed by a diverted river. Saorse Ronan plays the sad-faced girl next door and Eva Mendes cameos as the featured performer in a gore-laden freak show.
As you might guess, it’s not exactly a feel-good family flick. Beyond that, I’m at a bit of a loss to describe the melancholy mishmash of disturbing imagery, stilted dialogue and cacophonous sound I witnessed. So instead, here’s the equally confounding trailer. And here’s a list of nine alternative titles for the film that occurred to me during the screening.
1. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Running Over a Bridge
2. Detroit Chamber of Commerce Promotional Video
3. One Hundred and Five Minutes You Will Never Get Back
4. Wow, Don’t Houses Look Cool When They’re On Fire?
5. The Name of the Bully Is… Bully
6. Well, It’s Not Very Good, But It Sure Felt Long
7. Did Christina Hendricks Really Just Cut Her Face Off?? Oh, Whew
9. Waiting for Gosling… to Wrap It Up Already
But hey, he’s still our favorite Canadian Ryan. So we’ll leave you with another young filmmaker’s directorial debut, documenting the dreamiest 15 seconds of the screening. Hey girl, enjoy.