Watch The Surreal First Clip From Ryan Gosling’s Directorial Debut Lost River


When actors turn to directing, they usually fall into one of two camps: surprisingly brilliant or hopelessly self-indulgent. Sometimes those camps even get combined, and the viewer is left sitting there wondering whether to love or hate a star. We’ll soon see which camp Ryan Gosling joins when his debut feature Lost River premieres at Cannes.

Lost River is “set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city” and tells the story of single mom Billy, whose son Bones (Iain De Caestecker) discovers a road leading to an underwater town. In the first clip from the film, Bones is being harassed by Bully (Matt Smith) and Face (Torey Whigfield) into dropping his gym bag and running like hell. What this will have to do with the rest of the story remains to be seen, but it’s an interesting introduction to what’s sure to be an interesting film.

The clip certainly establishes both a trio of characters and the tone of Lost River, which feels somewhat surreal without quite being surrealist. Detroit stands in for the “vanishing city” here, while a flaming bicycle, Matt Smith flexing his muscles, and a house burning down provide the “surreal dreamscape.” It’s difficult to judge the film based just on this one clip, but it at least looks intriguing.

Lost River could be either brilliant or pretentious, or even a combination of both. It all depends on how far Gosling’s artistry can actually stretch itself. Given the subject matter and technique on display here, I have a feeling that this film will wind up being divisive. We’ll have to wait and see what the reviews coming out of Cannes are like, as the audiences there usually let their feelings be known.

Check out the first clip from Lost River below and let us know what you think.