Day eight at Cannes and today’s big talking point was, without a doubt, Only God Forgives which reunites Winding Refn with Drive star Ryan Gosling,(who by the way could not make it to Cannes this year). It certainly is the first great schismatic movie at Cannes, with critics either panning its violence or dazzled by its stylised brilliance – or else wildly vacillating between the two position.
After this morning’s screening the film was described as “hugely violent” and it was reported that there were “walkouts during torture scenes.
One journalist twitted the following: “Only God Forgives: Seriously silent & very violent. Much artier than Drive. Looked amazing, liked, not loved. Many wont. #cannes2013”
On the other hand British Journalist Peter Bradshaw reported that “Larry Smith’s cinematography, Beth Mickle’s production design, and the art direction by Russell Barnes and Witoon Suanyai are staggeringly good!”
He admitted however that it was very violent but added:”Winding Refn’s bizarre infernal creation, an entire created world of fear, really is gripping. Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure formal brilliance”!!
God Forgives is a glitteringly strange, mesmeric and mad film set among American criminal expatriates in Bangkok”.
Playing alongside Gosling is Kirstin Scott Thomas as his mother. She is a peroxided Clytemnestra of a character – trashy, American and emphatically nothing like the cut-glass-accented aristocrats she is most famous for playing. She had given such roles a “kick in the teeth” with this part, she said.