It was a very different experience for the young actress.
In his new horror movie The Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) takes on the vicious side of the fashion industry, telling the story of an aspiring teen model. Played by Elle Fanning, she becomes an object of jealousy and desire for a group of beauty-obsessed women.
Elle Fanning stars in 'The Neon Demon'
Fanning said she was drawn to the project by Refn's previous work. "I hadn't read the script and didn't know the story at all, and he asked to meet me," she says. "Right away, we talked about trust. He films in chronological order, and you're constantly discovering things. So because something happened yesterday we can't do this anymore. We have to change it. You're on this ride together."
Elle Fanning's latest movie is a psychological maze.
The reviews are in for Nicolas Winding Refn's latest indie thriller 'The Neon Demon', with many branding it as superficial as the subject matter and others basking in the gorgeous cinematography. There's one thing that is agreed, however, and that's the fact that it's unfathomably surreal.
Elle Fanning stars in 'The Neon Demon'
Elle Fanning stars in this bloody psychological thriller from the director of 'Only God Forgives'. It explores a vicious undercurrent of brutality and jealousy in the world of LA beauty, fashion and modelling, and is being compared to films the likes of experimental genius David Lynch. But it's also being branded as a 'horror' movie, and few critics are accepting of that label for Refn's latest film.
The Neon Demon follows the journey of its protagonist Jesse (Elle Fanning) when she makes the move to Los Angeles as an aspiring model. Jesse is a young female that has been recruited by a fashion designer, as the typical girl from a small town with big dreams who wants to make it big in the modelling industry. However Jesse is not your typical model as she is described as a dangerous girl in the sense that the narrative soon takes a sinister turn.
Continue: The Neon Demon Trailer
Audiences expecting Drive 2 from this reteaming of Gosling and Winding Refn will be disappointed: this is a stylishly original movie that refuses to play by the rules. It's a very dark revenge thriller that unfolds like a surreal, blood-soaked dream as it spirals toward an ending that can't possibly be happy. And even though it's difficult to identify with anyone on-screen, the film is emotionally riveting.
Winding Refn sets the story in Bangkok, with Gosling starring as Julian, a passive guy who's working for his older drug-dealing brother Billy (Burke). But when Billy kills a teen prostitute in a drugged stupor, a nasty cycle of revenge begins. Detective Chang (Pansringarm) allows the victim's father (Wattanakul) to avenge her death, which comes at a price. So as Julian seeks his own vengeance, he understands that Chang is the real villain here. Then Julian's mother Crystal (Scott Thomas) turns up, refusing to listen to reason as she storms into the situation and makes everything much, much worse.
Using an Eastern sense of karma, Winding Refn throws Julian, Crystal and Chang into a torturous deathmatch. Events unfold with very little dialog, which emphasises the lurid colours and densely shadowed settings. Expertly shot and edited, the film is awash in ambiguity, making it feel like a David Lynch movie in which much of what we're watching is an absurd nightmare. And even as the morality gets increasingly murky, the film never preaches to us. It's challenging, provocative and extremely unsettling.
Continue reading: Only God Forgives Review
Hey UK, are you ready for Ryan Gosling's 'Only God Forgives'?
Ryan Gosling has defended his latest movie Only God Forgives for what seems like the ten billionth time, though admits the shocking violence and unconventional narrative structure will alienate audiences.
Ryan Gosling in 'Only God Forgives;
Collaborating with Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding-Refn for the second time, the Hollywood poster-boy plays a violent drug dealer on the hunt for his brother's killer in Bangkok.
Continue reading: Ryan Gosling Admits Blood-Drenched 'Only God Forgives' Will Alienate
Julian is living in Bangkok while running an organised drugs ring under the guise of a Thai boxing club after going on the run for murder ten years ago. When he discovers that his mentally challenged brother Billy has been brutally killed, he and his foul-mouthed, tough-talking criminal mother Crystal swear vengeance. But when he discovers that Billy had raped and killed a sixteen year old girl and been murdered by her father with the approval of ruthless former cop Chang (aka the Angel of Vengeance), things seem a little more complicated. However, under increasing pressure from his mother, Julian sets out to settle the score with the Angel, but after losing during a one on one fight, he must find another way to avenge his brother.
Continue: Only God Forgives - Clips
Only God can forgive Only God Forgives...
Refn had hinted at some degree of skill and precision with Bronson and to a lesser extent Drive, though Only God Forgives appears to be a backwards step for the enigmatic filmmaker and certainly a career blot for Gosling.
On the face of it, the narrative looks solid. Gosling plays Julian, a drug-king pin of the Bangkok underworld who doubles as the owner of a Thai boxing club. When his brother Billy is suddenly murdered, his unstable mother Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) arrives from London to bring back the body, however, she also wants Julian to settle scores and avenge the killing of his brother.
Continue reading: The Final Word On 'Only God Forgives? Refn's Worst. Probably Gosling's.
Does Ryan Gosling risk alienating his established fanbase with 'Only God Forgives'?
There were audible boos in the auditorium when Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn's latest effort Only God Forgives premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. Several of the theatregoers walked out, owing to the explicit violence in the film that tells the story of a Thai boxing club owner who goes on the hunt for his brother's killers.
The ever-capable Gosling - who showed flashes of sheer brilliance in 'Place Beyond the Pines - and Kristin Scott Thomas, one of the world's greatest actresses, appears to be a match made in heaven, though critics are not enamoured by the movie. The problem may lie with Refn's writing.
Peter Debruge of Variety said: "The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in Only God Forgives, an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance from Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn."
Continue reading: Is Ryan Gosling's 'Only God Forgives' Too Violent For His Fanbase?
Julian has been wanted for murder for 10 years and is on the run living in Bangkok. He owns a Thai boxing club behind which he runs deeply organised drugs ring. He may be loaded, handsome, fearless and be able to get whatever he wants, but the one thing he does want he just can't seem to make happen: revenge. After his disturbed brother brutally kills a young prostitute, ruthless former cop Chang (aka the Angel of Vengeance) lets her father execute her killer before mercilessly cutting off his hands to restore order. Consumed by grief and yearning for reprisal, Julian - encouraged by his criminal mother Jenna - sets out to destroy the Angel of Vengeance, but after losing in a one-to-one fight, he realises he must find another way to avenge his brother's death.
Continue: Only God Forgives Trailer
'Only God Forgives' is incredibly violent, but won high praise at Cannes.
Ryan Gosling's new movie Only God Forgives has received a slew of five-star reviews following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, though the bankable American star has just 17 lines in the violent thriller. Gosling plays a Bangkok boxing ring owner seeking revenge in Nicolas Winding Refn's latest film, which boasts another pulsing soundtrack by Clint Martinez.
In his review of the film, the Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw said, "It is ultraviolent, creepy and scary, an enriched-uranium cake of pulp, with a neon sheen," adding, "Only God Forgives will, understandably, have people running for the exits, and running for the hills. It is very violent, but Winding Refn's bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping." Gosling's lack of dialogue allows Kristin Scott Thomas - one of the greatest of her generation - to thrive, and the British-French actress steals the movie away from her popular co-star. She was in attendance at the photo-call for the movie at Cannes, though Gosling chose not to attend. "I can't believe that I'm not in Cannes with you," the actor wrote in a letter which was read out by Cannes director Thierry Fremaux at a press conference this week, "I was hoping to be coming but I am in the third week of shooting my movie. I miss you all. Nicolas, my friend, we really are the same, simply in different worlds and I am sending you good vibrations. I am with you all." Err, yeah, fair enough Ryan.
His absence is a blow to the festival, with organisers probably banking on the popular Hollywood star as one of marquee names.
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