With a handful of films, from Drive to The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling has emerged as one of the most magnetic screen presences of his generation. Now he has stepped behind the camera with Lost River, a mesmerising Lynchean fable starring Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes and Saoirse Ronan.

Hendricks (Struck By Lightning – JDIFF 2013) stars as Billy, a waitress struggling to raise her two children amid the ruins of a city that bears a striking resemblance to Detroit. Pitted against her are Bully (Matt Smith), a psychotic villain prowling the derelict streets, and Dave (a scene-stealing Ben Mendelsohn), the lecherous banker who threatens to foreclose on Billy’s home unless she takes a job at a sinister nightclub, where things can only take a turn for the worse…

Shot through with potent imagery, beautifully captured by cinematographer Benoit Debie (Irreversible), and directed with enormous style and verve, Lost River is a dark modern fairytale that marks the debut of a raw filmmaking talent.

Alistair Daniel
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival