The cast is very exceptional all-round (Gosling has never been better) and Fleck captures some pretty powerful imagery (particularly with faces). Where it never comes together, however, is the story. It drops a lot subplots abruptly, and many of the "big" moments don't seem to impact the overall plot. It's also one of those films that tries so hard to be non-judgmental that it ends up being distant and un-insightful.
There is almost no plot here. And we almost don't know nothing about the main character. A drug addicted young teacher is preaching water while drinking wine. Unsympathic person; slow, very slow storytelling; boring. I had a hard time watching it to the end.
Admittedly I saw this a while ago, however nothing memorable springs to mind looking back. Ryan Gosling coasts off his cool persona as an excuse for a drab performance filled with vapid forlorn glances. Gosling doesn't captivate, but neither does Fleck's script and style - which lacks purpose and urgency. The premise is enticing and in a better hands it could be a remarkable tale.