Lost River, directed by Ryan Gosling is a film with a simple story, but it is one that delivers everything (including that story) in such an unconventional, unique way. From characters that you can understand, to characters that are so unusual, Lost River is film that almost seems to reinvent itself every few scenes. Nothing is normal, yet everything is somehow understandable. This is a film that will play with your expectations, but not for the reason your thinking right now.
The plot of Lost River is based with in a small town in America, a town that after it is more or less washed away by a forcefully constructed reservoir, is left with a hauntingly character filled wasteland. The family that we follow in the film is on the verge of losing their house, and so must resort to some dangerous and insidious jobs in the hopes of saving what is theirs, but also save themselves.
Lost River is a stunning piece of cinema. Each scene is so uniquely constructed. Utilising the remnants of New Orleans as its location for shooting, director Ryan Gosling and his team were able to shoot some wholly original scenes, with naturally (despite their unnatural look) formed locations, that are unimaginably beautiful (in their own haunting way).
Added on top of the backdrop is a wonderful use of colour. Gosling fills his world with so much of it, and it brings so much more life to such a lifeless place. It’s pretty amazing how vibrant and alive he makes such an abandoned place look.
Gosling does the same when his characters are concerned. Lost River is filled with people who deserve your attention. While the performances are subtle and understated, they seem so perfect in the way the slot into the film. From the unhinged madness of Matt Smith, who plays the lip slicing Bully, too the sweet and caring Saoirse Ronan, who plays the oddly named Rat. Each character plays a part that I didn’t expect, but somehow once they begin to bloom into the character, all make perfect sense.
There is a quiet simplicity to Lost River, one that pulls you in slowly, lets you get more or less comfortable, and then unleashes its oh so watchable array of brilliances on you. This is a film that is perfectly paced, wonderfully shot, and filled with an array of interestingly different set of characters, perfectly crafted and a joy to watch.
I think it’s easy to tell that I’m going to recommend Lost River. I loved this film, and while its eccentric ways will certainly not be for everyone, that still won’t stop me from saying that you should see this film.
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