Cannes Review: 'Only God Forgives' Stretches Refn's Neon-Noir Style Over Too Little Oedipal, Amoral Substance | The Playlist
On paper, “Only God Forgives” is exactly the movie we might have wanted -- a re-visitation to the dark, fetishistically violent world of "Drive," with added local color and occasional, acid dialogue. Onscreen it’s that too: just that and no more. It makes us realize how we much we had come to subconsciously expect Refn to somehow change it up again and how silly of us that was.“Only God Forgives” is not the movie we hoped for, but it's probably the movie we asked for instead. [B]
Cannes 2013 First Impression: ONLY GOD FORGIVES Is A Hyper-Violent Feast For The Senses | Twitch
While many will surely argue that this is all at the expense of story, there is enough of one here to keep things moving, even if barely, and Kristin Scott Thomas is everything she's advertised to be. Get ready, the most badass art film ever is coming your way.
Gosling Film Booed: ‘Only God Forgives’ in Cannes | Variety
Vapid, nihilistic exercises in style are often ripe for jeers in a competition as prestigious as this one, and Refn’s latest in particular owes a strong stylistic debt to his filmmaking mentor Gaspar Noe (he’s thanked in the end credits), himself something of a Cannes-boo specialist after shocking festival-goers with the likes of “Irreversible” and “Enter the Void.” It’s worth noting that Cannes audiences have booed their fair share of masterpieces as well, most famously Antonioni’s “L’avventura,” and that a film’s fest reception isn’t necessarily an indicator of how it will be greeted down the road.
‘Only God Forgives’ Review: Ryan Gosling Even More Inscrutable in “Drive” Reunion | Variety
Have Refn and Gosling disappeared up their own asses?The wallpaper emotes more than Ryan Gosling does in “Only God Forgives,” an exercise in supreme style and minimal substance from “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn. In retrospect, the controlled catatonia of Gosling’s previous perfs is nothing compared to the balled fist he plays here, a cipher easily upstaged by Kristin Scott Thomas’ lip-smacking turn as a vindictive she-wolf who travels to Bangkok seeking atonement for the death of her favorite son. As hyper-aggressive revenge fantasies go, it’s curious to see one so devoid of feeling, a veniality even “Drive” fans likely won’t be inclined to forgive.
For some reason, I am expecting to love this movie.
Cannes 2013 Review: ONLY GOD FORGIVES and the Art of Violence | Twitch
Critics are bound to balk anytime a filmmaker chooses style over substance. But when a director is able to execute this kind of style to such perfection, it can only be considered a home run. It may be far less accessible than Drive, but Refn and his team have done something truly special in the artistry of Only God Forgives. Sometimes it is worthwhile to just sit back and marvel.