Ryan Gosling’s new film Only God Forgives was booed during its screening at Cannes.
Critics have not been too kind to the recent collaboration between director Nicolas Winding Refn and the acclaimed actor. Although the pair won over critics and audiences alike with their 2011 effort Drive, it would appear that their latest movie is having a hard time finding an audience.
Hollywood Elsewhere critic Jeffrey Wells was particularly hard on the flick, describing the film as “idiotic,” “snail-paced,” and “possibly woman-hating.” However, he critique of the film didn’t stop there.
“I realize I sound like Rex Reed on one of his rants, but trust me, please — this is a defecation by an over-praised, over-indulged director who thinks anything he craps out is worthy of your time. I felt violated, s*** upon, sedated, narcotized, appalled and bored stiff,” Wells added.
The Wrap writer Sasha Stone likened Only God Forgives to the work of a serial killer. She added that “Refn isn’t literally killing women, but he’s indulging in one bloody killing after another, and practically licking the knife afterwards.” That’s pretty harsh.
Although the Gosling’s new film was booed at Cannes and eviscerated by critics, there are a few folks out there who seemed to have enjoyed the movie on one level or another. The praise may not be overwhelming, but it seems to have struck a chord with a handful of reviewers.
The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw was particularly kind to Only God Forgives. He gave Refn and Gosling’s collaboration five out of a possible five stars.
“‘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. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance,” Bradshaw wrote.
While Robbie Collin at the Daily Telegraph admitted that he didn’t like the movie, he seemed to appreciate what the flick was attempting to accomplish. He explained that the movie “is the spectacle of a brilliant young director spinning out in style. It’s a beautiful disaster.”
Last but not least is Ryland Aldrich’s write-up at Twitch. Aldrich seems to understand what Refn was trying to do with Only God Forgives, adding that the film is definitely style over substance. However, that apparently didn’t detract from his enjoyment of the flick.
“But when a director is able to execute this kind of style to such perfection, it can only be considered a home run. It may be far less accessible than Drive, but Refn and his team have done something truly special in the artistry of ‘Only God Forgives.’ Sometimes it is worthwhile to just sit back and marvel,” Aldrich explained.
What do you think about Ryan Gosling’s new film getting booed at Cannes? Are you looking forward to catching Only God Forgives when it opens in the US?