Critics didn’t particularly like Lost River, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut. It received a critical thrashing when it premiered at Cannes, and that likely played into the newly announced decision to bring the film straight to VOD, skipping theaters entirely. Straight to video is a concept as old as video itself, but it has forever had a negative stigma attached to it. It’s rare that a film with such big names attached (Gosling aside, it’s got Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith, Saoirse, and Eva Mendes, among others).
Certain companies, such as IFC, have made a habit of releasing films early on VOD and then giving them time to build some hype before a theatrical release, and I wonder if that could be possible here. But given the initial reception, I don’t know that it matters.
Then again, reviews out of Cannes don’t always jive with public opinion, so this could turn out to be a cult classic, with its shameful release strategy only bolstering its street cred. Hard to say, but we’ll find out when it sees its VOD release in April.[Via Popwatch]