CANNES -- Ryan Gosling has made a concentrated effort to escape his origins in show business, and little wonder. His own personal artistic sensibilities seem to be miles away from the kiddie fare that he appeared in, or "The All-New Mickey Mouse Club." Little by little, as he's been able to pick and choose the roles he wants to play, he has pushed towards darker and moodier work, often collaborating with very strong, challenging filmmakers. Commercial appeal seems to be one of the last things on his mind, and even so, he's built up a dedicated fanbase.
His first film as a writer and director, "Lost River," had its premiere this afternoon at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Un Certain Regard section. There are a number of first time directors in the section this year, and in the years that I've been covering this festival, I've come to think of Un Certain Regard as the place where they put the films that are taking chances, that are exercises in voice, that are hard to categorize anywhere else. That would certainly be a fair description of "Lost River," and while I don't believe it works as a whole, it is apparent immediately that Gosling believe wholeheartedly in this world that he's created.