Lost in London

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Lost in London
Directed by Woody Harrelson
Produced by Woody Harrelson
Ken Kao
Written by Woody Harrelson
Starring Woody Harrelson
Owen Wilson
Willie Nelson
Cinematography Nigel Willoughby
Release date
  • 19 January 2017 (2017-01-19) (London)
Running time
100 minutes
Country UK

Lost in London is a 2017 American comedy film written and directed by Woody Harrelson. The film stars Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson. The film was shot and screened live in select theatres on 19 January 2017.[1][2] It is the first time a film was live broadcast into theatres.[3]



The idea for the film came to Harrelson following a night out in Chinawhite, a club in Soho, in 2002.[4] He broke an ashtray in a London taxicab, which led to him being chased by police in a different taxicab, and spending a night in jail.[1][5] In the film, Harrelson, Wilson and Nelson play themselves in a story based on the real event, where Harrelson struggles to get home, while running into friends and members of a royal family.[6]

Harrelson announced the film in September 2016. According to Harrelson, the film contains 30 cast members and 14 shooting locations.[7] The film also includes car and foot chase scenes.[4] It is the first film that Harrelson has directed.[5] The film was produced by Harrelson and Ken Kao of Waypoint Entertainment, while Fathom Events assisted in the live production.[6] Nigel Willoughby is the cinematographer. They began shooting the film at 2:00 a.m. UTC on 20 January, and it was broadcast in over 550 theatres in the United States starting at 9:00 p.m. EST and 6:00 p.m. PST on 19 January. The film was shot in a single take with one camera.[1][7][8] The running time is approximately 100 minutes.[9] After the live showing, Harrelson participated in a question and answer session.[8] In addition to Harrelson, Wilson and Nelson, Zrinka Cvitešić were also cast. The film officially premiered in London on 27 January 2017.[10]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 75% based on 8 reviews, and an average rating of 6.3/10.[11]

Writing for the London Evening Standard, Nick Curtis judged Harrelson's film, "A daft idea, the kind of mad, experimental challenge dreamed up by stoned film nerds after a Hitchcock all-nighter, but one he pulled off with considerable wit and brio. Lost In London is not a great film. How could it be when character and plot are slaves to the concept, when all we have is the frame of a single camera? But it is a brilliant technical and logistical achievement, especially from a first-time director previously known for comedy and character roles, and a hippyish devotion to marijuana. Laced with self-mockery, it's very funny, and far better than we had any right to expect."[12]

In The Daily Telegraph, Tim Robey found, "It went alright on the night, with no hideous glitches", adding that, "Breaking new ground with this live experiment was only a matter of time, and single-take gambits of its ilk have been dabbled in for years. Had the technology allowed him back in 2000, Mike Figgis would surely have shown his brilliant, split-screen Timecode this way. Harrelson acknowledges his debt to the mesmeric German thriller Victoria, with its similar sense of urban emergency." Robey praised Harrelson and Owen Wilson's trading of insults, before concluding, "[…] the film lurches to a halt more with relief that it's crossed the finish line than with anything you'd call an elegant climax. Who knows what it'll look like down the line as a record of its own premiere—the live-streaming may well have been its oxygen. But we did watch the boundaries crumble outright between live performance and real, on-the-hoof film-making, to amply entertaining effect."[13]

Ryan Gilbey, reviewing the film for The Guardian, noted that, "Actors who try their hand as a director typically start off with something small-scale—a sensitive coming-of-age story, say, such as Jodie Foster's Little Man Tate or Robert De Niro's A Bronx Tale. With Lost in London, Harrelson went as far in the opposite direction as one can imagine. This was edge-of-the-seat, seat-of-the-pants film-making. He didn't just jump in at the deep end: he did so into shark-filled waters." Overall, Gilbey wrote, "Bumps and wrinkles in the film would doubtless have been remedied with the luxury of reshoots. […] Nothing, though, will quite match the sensation of having watched the messy but miraculous birth of a genuine oddity: part celebrity satire, part mea culpa, part site-specific, one-night-only art installation."[14]

Lost in London was favourably reviewed by Jason Solomons on BBC Radio 4's Front Row on 20 January 2017,[15] having previewed it the evening before.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Woody Harrelson Will Make History With World's First-Ever 'Live Cinema' Movie — Exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. December 15, 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  2. ^ Busis, Hillary. "See Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Timberlake, and More Roast Woody Harrelson". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  3. ^ "'Lost in London' movie release date, latest news: Woody Harrelson stars in first-ever live streamed movie". The Christian Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Gilbey, Ryan (17 January 2017). "Live-shooting with Woody Harrelson at 2am: 'There's something about the terror of it I love'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Harrelson's Lost in London to be shot and screened live". RTÉ.ie. December 18, 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b Lodderhose, Diana (December 15, 2016). "Woody Harrelson Writes, Directs & Stars In Live-Event Film 'Lost In London' With Owen Wilson & Willie Nelson". Deadline. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b Pulver, Andrew (December 15, 2016). "Woody Harrelson's Lost in London film to shoot and screen live". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  8. ^ a b "Woody Harrelson on His Crazy, Live Directorial Debut 'Lost in London'". Collider. January 16, 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Harrelson to shoot 'Lost in London' in real time". Newsday. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Croatian Actress Zrinka Cvitešić With Woody Harrelson in Upcoming Live Movie". Total Croatia News. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Lost in London Live (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Curtis, Nick (20 January 2017). "Lost In London, film review: Self-mocking romp is far better than we had any right to expect". London Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  13. ^ Robey, Tim (20 January 2017). "Lost in London review: Woody Harrelson breaks boundaries with supercharged Allen-esque live film". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (20 January 2017). "Lost in London review: Woody Harrelson's live movie is a miraculous oddity". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ Presenter: John Wilson; Producer: Rachel Simpson (20 January 2017). "Front Row: Siobhan Davies, Peter Bazalgette, Lost in London, Royal Albert Hall ticket resales". Front Row. 10:42 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  16. ^ Presenter: Kirsty Lang (19 January 2017). "Front Row: Urban myths, Author Michael Chabon, The Snow Maiden opera, Presidents on film". Front Row. 13:00 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 26 January 2017.

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