Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn has defended Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, which has been critically panned.

Gosling's Lost River premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival last week (May 20) and received scathing reviews from many critics, while some attendees at the screening booed the film.

It follows a single mother (Christina Hendricks) who finds herself in a gloomy fantasy underworld.

Some film reviewers pointed out the similarities between Gosling and Winding Refn's directing styles.

However, Winding Refn was quick to praise his Drive star, telling New York Magazine: "I think it's a beautiful, beautiful, great movie that will grow on people. There are images from it that still stick with me.

"Because we're twins we make the same movie. Separated at birth, we found each other. That's the thing about twins. We stick together."