• France's news in English

Cannes jeers Gosling's film Only God Forgives

AFP · 22 May 2013, 15:14

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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.


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available