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Gosling Film Booed at Cannes Screening; 'Only God Forgives' Draws Ire

Image: Gosling Film Booed at Cannes Screening; 'Only God Forgives' Draws Ire Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux, right, reads a letter from actor Ryan Gosling explaining why he could not attend the festival, as director Nicolas Winding Refn, center, and actress Kristin Scott Thomas listen during a press conference for the film 'Only God Forgives'.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:54 PM

Actor Ryan Gosling did not show up at the Cannes Film Festival for the screening of his new movie, but watchers at “Only God Forgives” booed and walked out of the violent film Wednesday.

Gosling, who is in Detroit directing his latest film with actress/girlfriend Eva Mendes, sent a letter apologizing for his absence.

“Can't believe I'm not in Cannes,” Gosling wrote in a letter read at a news conference by festival director Thierry Fremaux. “I was hoping to come but I'm on week three shooting my film in Detroit. Miss you all. Nicolas (director Nicolas Winding Refn), my friend, we really are the same persons in different dimensions. I'm sending you good vibrations.”

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“Only God Forgives” has caused controversy for its hyper-violence, including scenes of a man being tortured by razor-sharp steel chopsticks and another in which a man has his arm severed with a sword.

Gosling stars in the flick set in Bangkok as drug smuggler Jake who is pressured by his mother, portrayed by Kristin Scott Thomas, to avenge his brother's murder.

The film received some boos during particularly bloody scenes, but the jury was out by the end as a mix of cheers and boos were heard, the Daily Mail reported. The movie was billed as an ultraviolent tale of revenge.

The critics were no more kind. One critic called it “a defecation” and another “the careful work of a serial killer.”

Despite the mixed reception the film received, Thomas has been picking up strong reviews in the role of Gosling’s mother.

Refn, who also directed Gosling in 2011's Drive, said he supported the actor’s absence, stressing the importance of him making his directorial debut in Detroit.

“I would never even do it if I was in his situation,” Refn said. “One thing is being an actor. When you're directing, it's another arena.”

Gosling's directorial debut has attracted an all-star cast that includes “Mad Men's” Christina Hendricks, British actor Iaian De Caestecker of “Coronation Street,” Matt Smith of “Doctor Who” fame along with Mendes.

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