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WB shopping Ryan Gosling's critically panned Lost River to new distributors

May. 21, 2014by: Alex Maidy

Ryan Gosling's directorial career has taken some punches right out of the gate. His debut feature, LOST RIVER, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival the other day to a wide mix of cheers and boos. But, it seems the boos won out as Warner Bros. is now looking for a smaller company to acquire the film. Deadline reports that nothing is finalized at this point, but it doesn't look good for LOST RIVER.

Previously titled HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER, Gosling's debut pretty much delivered what we expected based on the critical responses. Mimicking the works of directors he has worked with to date, specifically Nicholas Winding Refn, Gosling's film supposedly feels like it was directed by a rookie. Not exactly the type of movie that would have ever gotten a wide release, LOST RIVER is certainly not going to get the same type of exposure with a smaller company but may get more attention than a big studio like Warner Bros is willing to give.

Ryan Gosling is far from the first actor to pursue directing and definitely not the first to stumble out of the gate. Maybe as fans we have been spoiled by the success in recent years of George Clooney, Ben Affleck, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as each has proven to be adept on both sides of the camera. There is still time for Gosling to fine tune his project before general audiences see LOST RIVER, but the outlook is not so good.

Source: Deadline

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10:42AM on 05/22/2014
Gosling might as well change his name to Pretentious!!! He has made some awful movies that have been blasted by critics as of late, so he makes his own movie in the same exact fashion. I guess you just don't give up when it still doenst work huh?
Gosling might as well change his name to Pretentious!!! He has made some awful movies that have been blasted by critics as of late, so he makes his own movie in the same exact fashion. I guess you just don't give up when it still doenst work huh?
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8:43AM on 05/22/2014
I expected it to get these kind of reviews. It's definitely something I'll checkout. And I agree with The Soloist.... JGL's Don Jon was no where near good. Im baffled by the praise it received!
I expected it to get these kind of reviews. It's definitely something I'll checkout. And I agree with The Soloist.... JGL's Don Jon was no where near good. Im baffled by the praise it received!
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1:00PM on 06/03/2014
Don Jon is a polarizing movie because of its style and messages, but as a piece of filmmaking it's actually quite impressive, esp. for a debut. Like I commented to The Soloist, I found it to be an astute social commentary as broad satire, and good-humored, too. The writing is concise, the direction is clean and the editing tight. Spot-on casting and performances. The camera work, the sound design, the music, the sets all told the story. Everything worked.

Anyone can to take safe material,
Don Jon is a polarizing movie because of its style and messages, but as a piece of filmmaking it's actually quite impressive, esp. for a debut. Like I commented to The Soloist, I found it to be an astute social commentary as broad satire, and good-humored, too. The writing is concise, the direction is clean and the editing tight. Spot-on casting and performances. The camera work, the sound design, the music, the sets all told the story. Everything worked.

Anyone can to take safe material, make it look like cultured and refined cinema, and make it easy for people to say they liked it, but JGL instead pushed caricature to make a point and skewer a lot of things we normally don't question. There's more going on beneath the slick surface, and I think when you think about it, his observations about the way we're brought up to think about manliness, sexuality, love, family values, religion, etc. strike a nerve. Maybe people don't like what he said and the way he said it, but no doubt he said it well.
9:28PM on 05/21/2014
Well let's give him props for putting himself out there. I'm sure it's got to be a huge self esteem hit when your pet project gets shit on.
Well let's give him props for putting himself out there. I'm sure it's got to be a huge self esteem hit when your pet project gets shit on.
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8:24PM on 05/21/2014
I'm a huge fan of Gosling and I'm dieing to see how experimental this film is after seeing him work on such films as Drive, Only God Forgives, The Place Beyond the Pines, and Lars and the Real Girl. I mean the guy had to pick up some cool techniques and styles for his debut directorial film. And the film does totally feel like something Gosling would direct based off his personality and characteristics.

And Joseph Gordon Levitt should not be included in that list. His Don Jon was a really
I'm a huge fan of Gosling and I'm dieing to see how experimental this film is after seeing him work on such films as Drive, Only God Forgives, The Place Beyond the Pines, and Lars and the Real Girl. I mean the guy had to pick up some cool techniques and styles for his debut directorial film. And the film does totally feel like something Gosling would direct based off his personality and characteristics.

And Joseph Gordon Levitt should not be included in that list. His Don Jon was a really average film compared to the other great actors turned directors of recent.
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9:43PM on 05/21/2014
The problem I have with this film prior to seeing it (and I have no interest in it) is that it received so many comparisons to other surreal directors Gosling worked with, which suggests a lack of identity. A great artist should not be imitating the styles of others; he or she should establish a personal worldview, something distinct to the artist. I have not read the reviews and I am aware of the negative critical reaction, but my reason for not being optimistic about the quality of the film
The problem I have with this film prior to seeing it (and I have no interest in it) is that it received so many comparisons to other surreal directors Gosling worked with, which suggests a lack of identity. A great artist should not be imitating the styles of others; he or she should establish a personal worldview, something distinct to the artist. I have not read the reviews and I am aware of the negative critical reaction, but my reason for not being optimistic about the quality of the film is because of the attached clip and the comparison to Nicolas Winding Refn. It's one thing to make a good bizarre film that divides an audience; it's quite another to make a copy of a style. The latter lacks substance, because it is not grounded in the artists singular vision. I can't say that is the case with this movie, but it certainly does not draw my interest.
12:42PM on 06/03/2014
Don Jon is actually rather brilliant. An astute social commentary as broad satire, and good-humored to boot. The writing is concise, the direction is clean and the editing tight. Spot-on casting and performances. The camera work, the sound design, the music, the sets all told the story. Everything worked.

Anyone can take safe material, make it look good, and make it easy for people to say they liked it, but JGL pushed caricature to make a point, and his observations about the way we're
Don Jon is actually rather brilliant. An astute social commentary as broad satire, and good-humored to boot. The writing is concise, the direction is clean and the editing tight. Spot-on casting and performances. The camera work, the sound design, the music, the sets all told the story. Everything worked.

Anyone can take safe material, make it look good, and make it easy for people to say they liked it, but JGL pushed caricature to make a point, and his observations about the way we're brought up to think about men, women, family values, religion, etc. struck a nerve. Maybe people don't like what he said and the way he said it, but no doubt he said it well.
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6:52PM on 05/21/2014

What is this article?

Joblo hired some new writers and I noticed that the articles had been written better the past month or so. But what is this article? The headline says the film was critically panned but ended then the article says it had a "wide mix of cheers and boos." So what is it? Or is this a review of the film? You say that "Gosling's film supposedly feels like it was directed by a rookie," but you haven't seen it? So was this the consensus from lots of critics like rottentomatoes, or did you
Joblo hired some new writers and I noticed that the articles had been written better the past month or so. But what is this article? The headline says the film was critically panned but ended then the article says it had a "wide mix of cheers and boos." So what is it? Or is this a review of the film? You say that "Gosling's film supposedly feels like it was directed by a rookie," but you haven't seen it? So was this the consensus from lots of critics like rottentomatoes, or did you basically just steal that from one reviewer? And can someone help me understand this sentence: "Previously titled HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER, Gosling's debut pretty much delivered what we expected based on the critical responses." If you haven't seen the film, how do you know what it delivered? What "we" expected? Maybe the most wordy sentence I've ever heard.
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7:35PM on 05/21/2014
AMEN to that
AMEN to that
8:39PM on 05/21/2014
Agreed. I love this site but man the articles are getting progressively worse with bad grammar, misleading headlines, run-on sentences and incorrect facts. I don't want to bitch, it's just frustrating.
Agreed. I love this site but man the articles are getting progressively worse with bad grammar, misleading headlines, run-on sentences and incorrect facts. I don't want to bitch, it's just frustrating.
9:52PM on 05/21/2014
It's not a misleading title. Search "Cannes Lost River" and scan through the results: most article titles suggest that the film was largely "slammed" by critics. Yes, there was some mixed reaction, but the majority was not impressed. The headline is not wrong, just because there was some positive reaction. Most of it was bad. Go to RottenTomatoes (currently 27%) or do a search and then accuse this writer of being any more misleading.
It's not a misleading title. Search "Cannes Lost River" and scan through the results: most article titles suggest that the film was largely "slammed" by critics. Yes, there was some mixed reaction, but the majority was not impressed. The headline is not wrong, just because there was some positive reaction. Most of it was bad. Go to RottenTomatoes (currently 27%) or do a search and then accuse this writer of being any more misleading.
9:53PM on 05/21/2014
This seems to be similar to the reaction to Only God Forgives, but at least Refn stayed true to his own style, which can be divisive. Gosling's movie appears to be derivative of that style, which makes the criticism more about the failure to stand as an original vision. If this is the case, then I understand the criticism. Avant Garde works better when the artist has an original voice and a clear purpose; it suffers when it tries to stand on the merits of other, more accomplished artists.
This seems to be similar to the reaction to Only God Forgives, but at least Refn stayed true to his own style, which can be divisive. Gosling's movie appears to be derivative of that style, which makes the criticism more about the failure to stand as an original vision. If this is the case, then I understand the criticism. Avant Garde works better when the artist has an original voice and a clear purpose; it suffers when it tries to stand on the merits of other, more accomplished artists.
6:55AM on 05/22/2014
New writers was exactly what this site needed and they've been doing a terrific job. Alex Maidy isn't one of those newer writers, but this article (and the sentence you claim to be "the most wordy... ever") was fine.

As for the film, after watching the teaser that came out a day or so back, I can't say I'm surprised it wasn't received well. Confusion and experimentalism does not automatically equal art.
New writers was exactly what this site needed and they've been doing a terrific job. Alex Maidy isn't one of those newer writers, but this article (and the sentence you claim to be "the most wordy... ever") was fine.

As for the film, after watching the teaser that came out a day or so back, I can't say I'm surprised it wasn't received well. Confusion and experimentalism does not automatically equal art.
6:03PM on 05/21/2014

Exactly what I was expecting.

He's working with Gaspar No's DP, and I was expecting something along the lines of a Gaspar No film (a man who has made some of the most walked-out-of films of the past decade), and that's what this feels like. Extremely experimental. I'm sure the film rocks for people in to this sort of thing. I'm excited to see it.
He's working with Gaspar No's DP, and I was expecting something along the lines of a Gaspar No film (a man who has made some of the most walked-out-of films of the past decade), and that's what this feels like. Extremely experimental. I'm sure the film rocks for people in to this sort of thing. I'm excited to see it.
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5:19PM on 05/21/2014
I feel like the negative criticism is unearned. If this film was made by an unknown director, it would be hailed and considered a breakthrough triumph - because it's a popular actor using what he's learned from directors he's worked with, those who've seen the film have chosen to not be so kind.
I feel like the negative criticism is unearned. If this film was made by an unknown director, it would be hailed and considered a breakthrough triumph - because it's a popular actor using what he's learned from directors he's worked with, those who've seen the film have chosen to not be so kind.
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7:17PM on 05/21/2014
I agree 100%. If he was a newcomer or supporting actor who is just trying his hand at directing for the first time this would be hailed as a "new voice" or whatever garbage they would come up with.
I agree 100%. If he was a newcomer or supporting actor who is just trying his hand at directing for the first time this would be hailed as a "new voice" or whatever garbage they would come up with.
10:04PM on 05/21/2014
But it's not a new voice. It is an echo of directors Gosling worked with prior to trying his hand at directing. If the movie had a distinct style that did not seem derivative, it probably would have been better received. I know it is wrong to make a judgement without viewing the movie, but there was a clear sense of imitation over originality in the clip released online. Besides, Ryan Gosling is generally loved by critics. Why would there be a bias against him? And why not hold him to a
But it's not a new voice. It is an echo of directors Gosling worked with prior to trying his hand at directing. If the movie had a distinct style that did not seem derivative, it probably would have been better received. I know it is wrong to make a judgement without viewing the movie, but there was a clear sense of imitation over originality in the clip released online. Besides, Ryan Gosling is generally loved by critics. Why would there be a bias against him? And why not hold him to a standard reflective of his peers?
4:58PM on 05/21/2014
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does not belong on that list. His film 'Don Jon' was pretty bad.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt does not belong on that list. His film 'Don Jon' was pretty bad.
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8:02PM on 05/21/2014
Yes, JGL should be replaced in this list with Johnny Depp for his directorial effort 'The Brave'.

No, not really. :P
Yes, JGL should be replaced in this list with Johnny Depp for his directorial effort 'The Brave'.

No, not really. :P
4:50PM on 05/21/2014

Woah woah, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is NOT one of those good actors turned director.

Decent at best, but yeah... CANT WAIT for the shitstorm of other actor-directed films that got the go ahead in the last two years.
Decent at best, but yeah... CANT WAIT for the shitstorm of other actor-directed films that got the go ahead in the last two years.
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1:09PM on 06/03/2014
Actually he is. Some people may not like what he had to say and the way he said it, but as a piece of filmmaking it is sharp, clean, and well-executed and well-aligned from the direction, photography and editing to the sets, music and acting. Also astutely observed.
Actually he is. Some people may not like what he had to say and the way he said it, but as a piece of filmmaking it is sharp, clean, and well-executed and well-aligned from the direction, photography and editing to the sets, music and acting. Also astutely observed.
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