For actor Ryan Gosling, 'Only God Forgives' is like a drug
By Patricia Reaney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ryan Gosling's latest film, "Only God Forgives," has deeply divided critics and the Canadian actor concedes that the blood-spattered crime thriller set in Bangkok's underworld of boxing clubs and brothels may not appeal to everyone.
"The film is kind of like a drug," the former child star who appeared on "The Mickey Mouse Club" TV show, told reporters ahead of the film's opening in U.S. theaters on Friday.
"You either have a good trip or a bad trip."
For critics at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film -written and directed by Denmark's Nicolas Winding Refn - was shown in May, it was a bit of both. It prompted boos and sent some critics scurrying from the press screening, while others praised the film's artistic merits.
With its minimal dialogue and gruesome scenes of torture and bloodletting, the highly stylized film is not for the squeamish.
The Hollywood Reporter described it as a "menacingly atmospheric mood piece that will not disappoint devotees of the Nicolas Winding Refn church of fetishistic hyper-violence."
Variety's Peter Debruge called it "an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance," and Keith Uhlich, of Time Out New York magazine, said Refn "clearly thinks he's saying something profound with this laboriously overproduced dross."
The film offered an opportunity for Gosling, who was nominated for a best actor Oscar in 2007 for the drama "Half Nelson" and starred in "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Blue Valentine," to reunite with Refn. Continued...