Only God Forgives (2013) Film Review


My unscripted video review of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, his follow-up to 2011 pop culture phenomenon Drive. Only God Forgives had its world premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it polarized critics as badly as it has polarized its recent audiences. Starring Refn muse and spirit animal Ryan Gosling as Julian, a criminal and boxing club owner who is forced into a cycle of violence, Refn’s bears many similarities to his previous smash film. Like Drive, his most recent is a film stuffed with upsettingly graphic, neo-pop violence; but it is also an accomplished visual and imaginative wonder, with scenes of such great tension and power that they make mood lighting into an art form. Co-starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Burke, and Vithaya Pansingram in a boundary-breaking villain role, Only God Forgives is a minor masterpiece in its own right.

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