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Nicolas Winding Refn Is a Fan of Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River': "It's a Beautiful, Great Movie"

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood May 29, 2014 at 1:08PM

Critics at Cannes may have been harsh on Ryan Gosling's go-for-broke directorial debut "Lost River" (Anne Thompson liked it), but director Nicolas Winding Refn had only good words for it at the festival's closing night dinner. Now, in many ways this is a no-brainer. Gosling has been Winding Refn's muse for his last two films, the hyper-stylish "Only God Forgives" and "Drive," and reviews noticed a distinct similarity between Gosling's directorial style and Winding Refn's (as well as numerous mentions of David Lynch).
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Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn at Cannes 2013
Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn at Cannes 2013

Critics at Cannes may have been harsh on Ryan Gosling's go-for-broke directorial debut "Lost River" (Anne Thompson liked it), but director Nicolas Winding Refn had only good words for it at the festival's closing night dinner. Now, in many ways this is a no-brainer. Gosling has been Winding Refn's muse for his last two films, the hyper-stylish "Only God Forgives" and "Drive," and reviews noticed a distinct similarity between Gosling's directorial style and Winding Refn's (as well as numerous mentions of David Lynch). 

But still, Winding Refn's words do resonate with the good aspects even negative reviewers ceded about the film: its aesthetic. Winding Refn said, "It's a beautiful, beautiful great movie that will grow on people. There are images from it that still stick with me."

He also had some sweet words about his supposed influence on Gosling: “Because we're twins, we make the same movie. Separated at birth, we found each other. That's the thing about twins. We stick together."

And star Ben Mendelsohn, who in "Lost River" is a singing and dancing club owner, impressed him: "I could watch him read the phone book."

So there you have it. Most of us will have to wait for the film's stateside release (currently being handled by Warner Bros.) to weigh in, but in the meantime, a work to which no one is indifferent is always of interest.

This article is related to: News, Ryan Gosling, Nicolas Winding Refn, Nicolas Winding Refn, Lost River, News


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.