Watch out, Ryan Gosling. Ryan Reynolds might be sneaking up on your sensitive Canadian indie cred at Cannes this year.
First of all, check out these photos of the former Green Lantern sporting Serious Business glasses, a retro denim vest, and well-worn, brown work boots. It’s like he got a makeover by way of artisanal moonshine brewers in the parts of Brooklyn no one can afford any more. Which is not a bad look for him, by the way! But that’s not all.
Ryan Reynolds is hitting la Croisette to promote his new film, “The Captive,” which was co-written and directed by Canadian Oscar nominee Atom Egoyan. In “The Captive,” Reynolds plays the tormented father of an abducted girl; he and his wife, played by Mireille Enos, are still clinging to hope despite the odds. A lead pops up that makes it seem their hope wasn’t unfounded. A thriller set in Niagara Falls, Ontario, “The Captive” has gotten mixed reviews — but, honestly, what movie doesn’t get booed at Cannes? It certainly can’t be worse than Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot,” a drama based on the true crime book about the West Memphis Three that seems fairly unnecessary given the scope of the 2002 book by Mara Leveritt and what we (sort of) know now about the case.
Egoyan told “The Hollywood Reporter,” “One of the things I’m most proud of with this film is it will completely redefine Ryan’s career. It’s a stunning performance. It’s a nuanced, dramatic portrayal of a man who has been tortured for eight years and remains hopeful. It’s a very compelling psychological portrait. I’ve been wanting to work with him for a long time. He was the first person I sent the script to.” And given his track record, Egoyan does have an eye for actors; his work with the excellent Sarah Polley speaks for itself.
Reynolds was pretty blunt during the press conference for “The Captive” in describing an encounter with a particularly uninspiring director. “I was with a director years ago who said, ‘Don’t blink.’ I said, ‘What do you mean? Can I give myself a break and blink every hour to lubricate my eyeballs?’ He said, ‘It betrays vulnerability.’ And I thought, ‘That, right there, is grade-A sh*t direction.’ If a scene calls for anger, Atom lets you sit with it, and maybe go the opposite direction.”
Reynolds doesn’t seem oblivious to these missteps. He wasn’t quite so blunt about what went wrong with “The Green Lantern,” but he made it clear in a podcast with “Empire” that he has “very little interest” in playing the superhero in any future movies. He described “how difficult it is to make that concept palatable, and how confused it all can be when you don’t really know exactly where you’re going with it or you don’t really know how to access that world properly — that world comic book fans have been accessing for decades and falling in love with.”
He also mentions in that podcast that he was about to start shooting a movie with Marjane Satrapi, the extraordinary writer/director of “Persepolis” and “Chicken With Plums. “The Voices” premiered at Sundance to positive reviews; in the movie, he plays a guy who kills at the behest of his cat, Mr. Whiskers. Reynolds also voices Mr. Whiskers and his dog, Bosco, among other animals. Needless to say, we need to see this immediately. Reynolds also had no problem captivating viewers in the 2010 thriller “Buried,” where he plays a guy buried alive in a friggin’ coffin. That’s some serious acting.
“The Captive” was snagged for US release by A24, the super-cool distributor behind “Spring Breakers,” “Under the Skin,” “Locke,” “The Rover,” and “Obvious Child.” They’ve got good taste!
We’ve all been keeping an eagle eye out for who could be the next hunky actor who’s savvy enough to rise from the ashes of his hunky career, a la Matthew McConaughey. Will Reynolds be the first to leave his metaphorical bongos behind?
Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images