Gosling’s directorial debut relegated to video on demand

Ryan_Gosling_Cannes_2014By Craig Martin

Variety has announced that Ryan Gosling’s first foray into directing, “Lost River’s” distributor, Warner Bros, will not be seeking theatrical distribution for the film. Instead, the science-fiction/fantasy film starring “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks will be heading direct to video and video on demand with an April 2015 release. Originally titled “How To Catch A Monster,” the film finds Hendricks’ protagonist in a quest to find her son in an alternate universe. While no official reasoning was given as to why the studio will be skipping of a theatrical run for “Lost River,” one may only look back to when it opened at the Cannes Film Festival this past May.

While “Lost River” started out with a lot of notice and anticipation, thanks to Gosling’s already immense star power, it eventually became a pariah of the festival that only managed to garner some praise from some like-minded individuals such as Nicolas Winding Refn, who directed Gosling in both “Drive” and “Only God Forgives.” But that apparently did not scream “tentpole,” or apparently even “limited arthouse release” for Warner Bros. Given Gosling’s talent as an actor, it’s a shame that the film didn’t turn out better and/or get a better critical response. That being said, the “Lost River” trailer doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in it as a feature, as it does little more than show off Gosling’s love of the odd style, like Tim Burton, who Gosling has admitted channelling into this role.

Thanks to a good deal of public sensation, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “The Interview” earned quite a bit of notoriety for its on demand release platform. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that “Lost River” could replicate some degree of the comedy’s success. Perhaps Gosling’s name and the curiosity that comes with negative reviews could motivate Warner Bros to release “the film that they don’t want you to see” into a limited capacity screening tour, possibly with a Q&A from the director himself. Then again, considering how 2014 has been a year of varied success for Warner Bros, it’s probably better if “Lost River” just maintains its current course in hopes that a cult following will materialize.

No matter its theatrical chances, “Lost River” will find a way on home video and on demand in April 2015.

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