Rumors abound about The Canyons, Paul Schrader’s pic funded by Kickstarter and notoriously starring the notorious Lindsay Lohan. Thing is, if you’re troubled long enough, if you can just hold out past the bad patches, you will eventually be respected just for being someone who can’t hold it together. By the time society is done throwing stones, redemption can’t be much farther behind. And there isn’t anything the hungry beast likes more than a redemption story following a fall from a high place.
Nonetheless, writing for Variety, Scott Foundas says about Lohan:
The first in the new wave of Kickstarter-funded features instigated by established old-media types, Schrader’s ultra-low-budget (reportedly $250,000) but handsomely made study of low-level Hollywood hangers-on has earned much prerelease attention for the casting of real-life porn star James Deen and the troubled Lindsay Lohan (also one of the pic’s co-producers). But the end result is hardly a joke, not least for Lohan’s fascinating presence, far closer to self-revelation than self-parody. Between VOD curiosity seekers and adventurous arthouse-goers, “The Canyons” is sure to see solid returns on its modest investment, while pushing Schrader back into the zeitgeist after a long fallow period.
“The Canyons” doesn’t engender much sympathy for its characters — even nice-guy Ryan (convincingly played by Funk as just another pretty, none-too-bright face in the crowd) ultimately comes across as a cipher, to say nothing of Gina, who seems less concerned about her boyfriend’s infidelities than about the possibility of losing her credit on Christian’s movie. The major exception is Lohan, who gives one of those performances, like Marlon Brando’s in “Last Tango in Paris,” that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography. Lohan may not go as deep or as far as Brando, but with her puffy skin, gaudy hoop earrings and thick eye makeup, there’s a little-girl-lost quality to the onetime Disney teen princess that’s very affecting. Whenever she’s onscreen, she projects a sense of just barely holding on to that precarious slide area in the shadow of the Hollywood sign.
Lohan, in and out of rehab, is happy and relieved that her narrative might become a redemption story that gives her a place in Hollywood as someone who can still act. As part of her redemptive rise Lohan will be interviewed and perhaps mentored by Oprah.
That, and more treatments at a New Jersey alcohol addiction rehab or wherever it is that Lohan has her next major relapse.