Cannes Film Festival reviews: the five biggest flops of 2014

May 21, 2014

Ryan Gosling's Lost River is panned, while Nicole Kidman has critics 'curling up' in embarrassment

Ryan Gosling's debut as a director got off to a rocky start this week as his film Lost River was panned by critics at Cannes Film Festival. But he is not the first to be booed. Here are five flops from this year's festival...

Lost River

This neo-noir fantasy thriller stars Christina Hendricks as a single mother who takes a job at a dark burlesque theatre to pay the bills, while her eldest son discovers a ghost town at the bottom of a reservoir. The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin describes it as "mouth-dryingly lousy" and "so mind-bogglingly pleased with itself that the words 'five stars – a masterpiece – Ryan Gosling' might as well appear on the poster". However, he adds that it did draw applause as well as boos at its press screening yesterday, with some of the more enthusiastic attendees declaring: "It's like nothing else I've seen!"

Grace of Monaco

Olivier Dahan's film, which opened Cannes last week, follows the relationship of Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) and Prince Rainier of Monaco (Tim Roth). Collin calls it a "fantastically silly melodrama" and says that even by the end of the first scene the audience of international critics had "started curling up, like startled armadillos, into tight little balls of embarrassment". Stephen Dalton at the Hollywood Reporter says that the "Shrek movies deconstruct fairy tale conventions with much more depth and wit than this dreary parade of lifeless celebrity waxworks".

The Captive

Ryan Reynolds apparently skipped the after-party for The Captive after the film was roundly booed at Friday's premiere screening. Directed by Atom Egoyan, The Captive casts Reynolds as a father desperately searching for his abducted daughter. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw calls it a "one-star turkey" that is "so misjudged from start to finish it feels like a terrible dream". Line by line, scene by scene, it is "offensively preposterous and crass", says Bradshaw. "Has a grownup person written this script? It is embarrassingly unconvincing."

Saint Laurent

Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent is said to be superior to the other recent Yves Saint Laurent biopic directed by Jalil Lespert, which was condemned on release as a "lifeless" account of the fashion designer's career. But it seems Bonello has been damned by faint praise. His film is "seductively silly and largely unmoving", says Variety's Guy Lodge, while the Telegraph calls it "thunderously vapid". The Guardian's Bradshaw concedes that it is "well made", but says it is a "bafflingly airless and claustrophobic film, like being with fashion's very own Tutenkhamen, living and dying inside his own richly appointed tomb – and sentimentally indulged to the last".

The Search

Michel Hazanavicius's silent comedy The Artist picked up five Oscars in 2012. But he has made a 180-degree shift with The Search, about a Westerner (Berenice Bejo) who helps a lost child in the Chechen war. Oliver Lyttelton at Indiewire describes it as "misjudged and indulgent" with dialogue exchanges that are "mostly clunky and on-the-nose", while Justin Chang at Variety describes it as "a gruelling, lumbering, two-and-a-half-hour humanitarian tract that all but collapses under the weight of its own moral indignation".

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