Only God Forgives

Director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling follow up their brilliant 2011 collaboration Drive (one of my favorite films of that year) with the even more ultra-violent piece of minimalist cinema, Only God Forgives. But where Drive sublimely teased, taunted and tempted the limits of visual storytelling, this picture intentionally pushes the envelope to such an obvious degree that it becomes nothing more than a smug, self-satisfied exercise in cinematic excess. If Wes Anderson made bloody crime thrillers, they would look a lot like Only God Forgives, and that’s not meant a complement. Working from his own script, Winding Refn does little more than create a series of ugly but arty tableaus where his actors stand, sit, state and occasionally hurt each other. No one plays a real character in this picture; everyone is an archetype, an idea, or a prop. 

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Produced by Lene Børglum, Sidonie Dumas, and Vincent Maraval

Written by Nicolas Winding Refn

With: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Gordon Brown, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Tom Burke, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Pitchawat Petchayahon, and Charlie Ruedpokanon

Cinematography: Larry Smith
Editing: Matthew Newman
Music: Cliff Martinez

Runtime: 90 min
Release Date: 22 May 2013
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1