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Lost River

Where to Watch Lost River

R
2014

Lost River is a dark, surrealistic drama thriller written and directed by Ryan Gosling, making his debut behind the camera. The movie's enigmatic narrative combined with visually stunning aesthetics drew polarized criticism, although it’s apparent that this debut directorial venture gravitates towards artistic expression, bold imagery and intricate storytelling.

Lost River's story unfolds in a decaying, semi-deserted community where families are trying their best to make ends meet. Christina Hendricks stars as Billy, a single mother of two, striving tirelessly to keep her home amid the disintegration of her neighborhood. She finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an underworld, filled with dire consequences and deadly vulnerabilities as she attempts to provide for her family.

Iain De Caestecker plays Billy's teenage son, Bones, who has begun trawling through deserted homes for copper to sell, a risky endeavor given the despotic reign of a local thug named Bully, played by Matt Smith, known for his brutal bouts of violence towards trespassers. Parallel to his mother’s struggles, Bones discovers a hidden town submerged under a reservoir, which carries a curse that has marooned their town in a perpetual state of despair. This subplot leads to an exploration of various themes like loss, resolution, and the mythical underlining of a cursed land.

Lost River is a stunning exhibition of mesmerizing visuals and a non-linear narrative that powerfully echoes the works of Nicholas Winding Refn, Terrence Malick, and David Lynch. The film cleverly fault lines between reality and fantasy, the present and the past, prosperity and decay, forging a journey for the characters seeking hope and redemption. Its surrealistic elements, along with a haunting visual style, cement Gosling's unique storytelling ability.

The city itself, with its deserted homes, desolate landscapes and dilapidated buildings, becomes a character in the movie, reflecting the internal despair of its inhabitants. The beautifully crafted cinematography paints the morose picture of the city visually, portraying the atmosphere of despair and hopelessness. Coutryside ambiance transitioned cleverly into eerie, defunct suburbs, bathed in a perpetual twilight, seamlessly blending elements of magical realism with harsh, grim reality.

The performances in the movie are compelling. Hendricks as Billy embodies the desperation of a mother teetering on the edge of despair. De Caestecker as Bones gives a remarkable performance, making palpable the frustration and determination of a young man to escape the suffocating world he was born into. Smith's menacing portrayal of the antagonist Bully adds another layer of gloom to the bleak narrative.

A darkly poetic narrative underscoring the existential dread of the characters, Lost River is reinforced with a haunting score by Johnny Jewel that accentuates the film's raw, gloomy atmosphere, enveloping the viewers in a sensory experience. The use of vivid neon colors juxtaposed with an often grim atmospheric palette lends the movie a particular aesthetic quality, giving it an almost otherworldly aura.

However, Lost River is not a film for everyone. Its experimental narrative may not cater to the tastes of a mainstream audience. It is a grim, surreal poem that uses its narrative and visual medium to raise thought-provoking questions about economic depression, survival, desperation, and familial bonds under strained circumstances.

The film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews, some praising Gosling's unique stylistic choices and bold narrative, while others critiqued the film for its seemingly disjointed narrative and heavy stylistic influences. However, there is no denying that Lost River is a courageous venture into the world of film-making for Gosling.

In conclusion, Lost River is a visually stunning and thought-provoking film that provides a painful commentary on economic depression, despair, and survival through a distinctive lens of dark magical realism. It is moody, atmospheric, and artistically challenging — a testament to Gosling's potential as a director who is not afraid to take risks. It's a visual feast for anyone who appreciates expressive cinematography and a layered, complex narrative.

Lost River is a Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller movie released in 2014. It has a runtime of 115 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 42.

How to Watch Lost River

Where can I stream Lost River movie online? Lost River is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Lost River for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.7/10
42/100
Director
Ryan Gosling
Stars
Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Matt Smith, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Rob Zabrecky
Also starring Iain De Caestecker
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