40. Don’t Look Now (1973) Directed by: Nicholas Roeg A …
It would be hard to call Ryan Gosling an objectively good host. He is breaking throughout the show, half of his performances come off as wooden and tense, and his characters could largely be eliminated from sketches without altering them too dramatically. But damnit if Gosling isn’t just pleased as punch to be on the stage tonight.
When his film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, many critics reacted as if Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut had manifested itself into an abusive figure that vomited on their shoes, then repeatedly kicked their dog. Such a reaction was completely unearned by Lost River. There are flaws in the film, understandably, but it shines for them.
The Life of Nicolas Winding Refn Directed by Me might have been a more appropriate title for Liv Corfixen’s first documentary, which provides a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of her husband’s latest film Only God Forgives. Following on from his remarkable critical and commercial success with Drive, Refn is under pressure to produce more of the same and in doing so satisfy both his financial backers and his artistic ambitions. It is also the first time that Corfixen and the couple’s two daughters have joined Refn for an extended shoot abroad, creating a completely new environment in which he must balance his personal and professional lives.
Style oozes from every frame of Only God Forgives, tinged in red, like the blood that so frequently sprays across the screen and lands in artfully designed splatters. Writer-director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, reuniting after the cult success of 2011’s Drive, have collaborated on a truly baffling, bizarre, and gory crime drama that’s wall-to-wall striking, pretty images. Unlike Drive, however, Only God Forgives is hollow underneath all the model-like posturing and the flashes of excessive, gratuitous violence.
Only God Forgives, the next film from Drive director Nicolas Winding-Refn, has been near the top of most film nerds most-anticipated movie lists this year, if not sitting mightily atop all of them like a cinematic gargoyle. After storming on to the North American scene in 2011, all eyes have been on the weird little bugger, waiting to see what he’d do next.
The Place Beyond the Pines, so called for the English translation of the Mohawk word “Schenectady,” is close to a carousel in structure, one that would not be out of place at that traveling carnival where we first meet Luke in an extended tracking shot. Round and round it goes, taking the audience on an exacting, circular up-and-down ride. Cianfrance, along with co-writers Ben Coccio and Darius Marder, lets the film linger in moments, allowing it a hypnotic, novelistic pacing.