Refn’s Drive takes more honours and is still performing at international box office
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
15/12/2011 - Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, which garnered him the trophy for Best Director at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, continues to excite the critics.
Most recently, Refn’s Ryan Gosling-starrer was named Film of the Year by US magazine Rolling Stone - reviewer Peter Travers placed it ahead of Moneyball, The Descendants and The Artist [trailer, film focus]. International film magazines Empire and Total Film have also listed it as No 1 of this year’s releases.
Drive has received four nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards, which non-profit-organisation Film Independent will present during a televised ceremony in Los Angeles on February 25 (the day before the Oscars): Best Feature, Best Director, Best Actor (Gosling) and Best Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks).
The $15 million production has grossed €26.7 million in the US, as a FilmDistrict release; Box Office Mojo fixes its international total at €24.7 million, with $10.2 from France alone. Also in Refn’s native Denmark both critics and audiences took to the film – according to local distributor SF Film, it has so far reached 90,000 admissions.
Meanwhile, Refn has started pre-production in Bangkok for Only God Forgives, a €3.7 million thriller from his own script, packaged by Danish producer Lene Børglum for their Space Rocket Nation, with French competitive sales companies Wild Bunch Production and Gaumont (for the first time backing the same project).
Drive star Gosling is Julian, the English owner of a Thai boxing club that is a front for his family’s drugs-smuggling operation. The cast includes UK actors Kristin Scott Thomas, Luke Evans, Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm and pop star Yaya Ying will.