• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Cannes jeers Gosling's film Only God Forgives

AFP · 22 May 2013, 15:14

Published: 22 May 2013 15:14 GMT+02:00

"Only God Forgives" left many in the auditorium wincing or unable to watch, although some lines sparked unintended laughter.

In one scene, Gosling's character Julian tells his crime boss mother (Scott Thomas) that his brother Billy has raped and killed a 16-year-old girl.

"I'm sure he had his reasons," Scott Thomas replies, unrecognisable in long blond wig, fake eyelashes and garish clothes.

"Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn's film is one of 20 in the race for the festival's top Palme d'Or prize.

In another scene, Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm playing an ex-cop on a mission to purge Bangkok of sleaze, pins a man to an armchair with knives and stabs him through the eye.

Even Scott Thomas, better known for playing upper-crust Englishwomen with plummy accents, admitted to queasiness.

Winding Refn, in production notes, says he was keen to see her play a mix of Shakespeare's bloodiest female character and fashion designer Versace.

"This kind of film is really not my thing," she told reporters after the press screening.

"Films where this kind of violence happens I don't enjoy watching."

But she said she had decided to get involved in something she considered "hyper violent and quite disturbing" in order to work with Winding Refn and "play this wild, savage person."

The trouble really begins when Billy's killing of the young prostitute leads to his own murder.

Scott Thomas's character Crystal then arrives to collect the body of her favourite son and demand that Julian avenge his death.

Danish director Winding Refn defended his movie, saying he felt powerless to resist a compulsion to depict violence on screen.

"Art is an act of violence. Art is about penetration. Art is about speaking to our subconscious and our needs at different levels," he said.

Story continues below…

The film is his second collaboration with Gosling, who is not in Cannes due to filming commitments.

The actor starred in the equally blood-soaked "Drive" which in 2011 won Winding Refn the best director prize at Cannes.

"I don't think about what I do very much. I approach things very much as a pornographer. It's about what arouses me and certain things turn me on more than others and I can't suppress that need," he said.

"But I surely have a fetish for violent emotions, violent images and I just can't explain where it comes from," he added.

  

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ten tips for writing the perfect French CV
Stuck on choosing the perfect font? Follow our tips. Photo: Nguyen Vu Hung/Flickr

Outrageous French chateaux you can rent for a weekend
All photos: Airbnb

Looking for a different way to celebrate something? Look no further.

Paris Fringe Festival to showcase English arts scene
Performer from Fringe, '33 (a kabarett)- Bremner sings. Photo: The Paris Fringe

Here's all you need to know about the newest and most unique arts and theatre festival that's on the way to Paris.

'People smugglers' in France police chase are Iraqi Kurds
All four people in the suspect car were injured in the crash, two of them seriously. Photo: Alexis Constant/La Voix du Nord/ AFP

UPDATE: Four suspected people smugglers whose car was involved in a collision with a lorry after a high-speed police chase in northern France are Iraqi Kurds.

Why are the French shrugging their shoulders at Brexit?
Photo: Jan Lewandowski/Flickr

One thing has surprised author Stephen Clarke about the French attitude towards a potential Brexit - their sheer indifference.

China is winning war of the worlds in giant Paris art show
Artist Huang Yong Ping. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Monumental modern art doesn't come much more spectacular than this.

Universities dismiss 'lottery' for Paris medical students
Photo: AFP

University authorities have denied claims that Paris medical students will be selected at random.

Paris love lock tour group: 'We don't hang any locks'
A file pic of the padlocks at the Archeveche bridge in Paris. Photo: AFP

A love lock tour group that's been slammed by an outraged public has said they don't actually hang padlocks on Paris bridges.

French mechanic finds 'long-lost Renoir' online for €700
An art expert examines a different Renoir painting. Photo: Paul J Richards/AFP

Authentic works by Renoir have reached up to $78 million at auction... so is this one for real?

VIDEO: Outrage after French police humiliate amputee
A screengrab from the video. Photo: Jean-Didier Bakekolo

A man has captured on camera what he called "unprecedented brutality" by police.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Society
'Love lock' tour companies spark anger in Paris
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Society
Viagra, booze, cheese: The 29 maps that paint the picture of France
National
Why does 'everyone in France hate the police'?
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Society
Bring on the summer: Nine Paris parks to stay open 24 hours a day
National
Le Soleil! French set to enjoy long Ascension weekend in the sun
May the 4th be with you: How the French translated Star Wars
National
Why France has a major problem with the US and EU free trade deal
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Proust's personal archives to go under the hammer in Paris
National
Who exactly are the masked rioters causing havoc across France?
French rail passengers must now pay to change their tickets
Travel
Here are nine must-see landmarks in Paris you may have missed
Society
Paris makes love-lock bridge even more love-lock proof
Lifestyle
Parisians paying dearly for their bad 'parking'
Society
What's on in France: Ten great things to do in May
Society
Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
National
French dangerously 'unprepared' for future natural disasters
Is it really safe to come to France for Euro 2016?
National
Salah Abdeslam: Pot-smoking 'little moron' is finally back in Paris
Rail strike: Passengers in France face major disruption
Cats in a cafe?!? Nine of the quirkiest things you can see in Paris
National
VIDEO: The moment a Paris suicide bomber blew himself up
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and why there will be more
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?
2,770
jobs available