Depending On The Critic, 'Only God Forgives' Is The Best, and Worst At Cannes
Gosling's latest moody thriller is confusing the critics
Cannes 2013 has thrown up another noteworthy film if the reviews are to be believed. Only God Forgives - directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling – has caused a stir with the critics.
Having already worked with Gosling on Drive, which was also reviewed positively, if not pulled up for plot holes, Winding Refn’s thriller is set among American criminal expatriates in Bangkok. “It is ultraviolent, creepy and scary, an enriched-uranium cake of pulp, with a neon sheen,” says The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. “The first scenes made me think that Wong Kar-wai had made a new film called In the Mood for Fear or In the Mood for Hate.” Aside from The Guardian’s 5-star review, the reaction to Only God Forgives has been mixed. "Only God Forgives is a failure but a rather magnificent failure,” say Total Film. “It is a beautiful, hollow film, with the director's insistence that Julian is fighting God – and that the film is about existential crisis – needing to be taken at its word. For most, it simply comes down to this: it's no Drive." Empire called it a “hellish, dreamlike vision of purgatory that works better as an immersive experience than a narrative.”
This year’s Cannes has already been a hotbed for fantastic new cinema: Steven Soderbergh's 'Behind the Candelabra' and the Coen Brother’s ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ have both been received well, with the latter mooted as favourite for the Palm D’Or.
Hearthrob - Gosling can do no wrong, even if he does wrong