We'll never stop loving Ryan Gosling.
Even if his directorial debut, Lost River, was hammered by critics after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival.
"Give some credit to Gosling, the Method-hunk star of such indie faves as Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, plus Hollywoodier fare like The Notebook, The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love, for his mad mash up of horror and social statement, crackpot fantasy and Sundance-style meandering," Time magazine's Richard Corliss wrote. "That means it wavers between the stupefying and the obscure, between LOL and WTF."
Gosling was scrutinized by some for borrowing too much from other directors.
"Had Terrence Malick and David Lynch somehow conceived an artistic love-child together, only to see it get kidnapped, strangled and repeatedly kicked in the face by Nicolas Winding Refn, the results might look and sound something like Lost River, a risible slab of Detroit gothic that marks an altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling," Variety's Justin Chang wrote.
Robbie Collin of The Telegraph agreed.
"The problem is, it's like everything Ryan Gosling's seen: David Lynch, Mario Bava, Nicolas Winding Refn, Terence Malick, Gaspar Noé and a splash of David Cronenberg for good measure," he wrote. "But these filmmakers' ideas and imagery aren't developed, they're simply reproduced: think Wikipedia essay rather than love letter. The result is cinema you don't watch so much as absent-mindedly scroll through, wondering when an idea or an image worth clicking on will finally show up."
HitFix's Drew McWeeny opined that the film would never have made it to Cannes without Gosling's star power. "If this had been a script by some young writer and he had just gone out trying to find the money for it, he would be sitting at home right now, watching the coverage of Cannes from a distance, upset that no one recognized his own brilliance," he wrote. "It is a first film and it shows."
Jordan Hoffman of Film.com found a bit of a silver lining. "Ryan Gosling wanted to make an art film and, despite some dull patches, pretty much succeeded," Hoffman wrote. "There's more to him than just 'lookin' at his muscles."
Some of the tweets following the premiere were also not as scathing.
"Impressive impressionistic well-wrought debut for #RyanGosling with Lost River," Anne Thompson of Indiewire posted. "Very David_Lynch!"
Journalist Gregg Kilday tweeted, "His directorial debut Lost River suggests inside Ryan Gosling a new David Lynch has been waiting to get out."