Lost River, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, stars Saoirse Ronan as a lead character by the name of Rat, a sorrowful young girl who sings herself to sleep every night. For the film soundtrack, which was scored by Johnny Jewel (Glass Candy, Drive soundtrack), Ronan sang a sad, sweet little lonely lullaby that’s part of the film.
Ronan hadn’t sung in public before, and Jewel writes about getting her to feel comfortable enough to do it:
To melt the ice, I set up an 8 track on the floor of the kitchen next door. I unplugged all the phones from the wall, & put them inside the refrigerator. She came into the room, & the three of us piled up all of the furniture & suitcases in the corner to block the door.
I wanted to make her feel as safe as possible, & I wanted her to sing as intimately as she could. Like she was the only person in the world. I promised her there was no way anyone was getting into that room until we were done. Ryan turned off the all lights, & all three of us sat on the floor in a circle in the dark.
We recorded it in two takes with a single microphone and no headphones.
There are no words to describe that moment.
The film opens April 10 at select theaters near you. Time called it “the most enthusiastically derided entry so far at this year’s Cannes Film Festival” and noted that it was booed and catcalled upon its screening. Harsh toke, Gos. Ronan’s got a nice voice, though.