The Blue Hour is a beautiful, dark and mysterious ghost story from Thai filmmaker Anucha Boonyawatana. Tam (Atthaphan Poonsawas) is a gay teen who doesn’t fit in at school or within his family. He arranges a meeting with the dashing Phum (Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang) at an abandoned swimming pool. Their hook-up quickly develops into something more serious as they find comfort and safety in each other’s friendship. As their relationship progresses, Tam’s life becomes increasingly confused as he struggles to differentiate dream from reality.
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.