Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider,
Kelli Garner, Patricia Clarkson
Released By: GV and Lighthouse Pictures
Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins
Rating: PG (Some Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.larsandtherealgirl-themovie.com/
Opening Day: 25 October 2007
Written by "Six Feet Under" scribe Nancy Oliver,
"Lars and the Real" Girl is a heartfelt comedy starring
Academy-Award nominated Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom a loveable
introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully
embracing life. After years of what is almost solitude, he
invites Bianca, a friend he met on the internet to visit him.
He introduces Bianca to his Brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and
his wife Karen (Emily Mortimer) and they are stunned. They
don't know what to say to Lars or Bianca – because she
is a life-size doll, not a real person and he is treating
her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor
Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson) who explains this is a delusion
he's created – for what reason she doesn't yet know
but they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional
journey for Lars and the people around him.
Gosling does everything except what people actually do with
high-end love dolls in his latest film, “Lars and the
Real Girl”. The film shatters our expectations almost
immediately when it reassures us that it is more profound
than tawdry, and that its quirks mask cracks of quiet desperation,
which its inherent kindness instinctively develops into a
transcendental journey for both characters and audience alike.
Notwithstanding the insinuations of modern crudity in its
conceit, the layers of complexities that it ends up mining
makes director Craig Gillespie's (most recently of “Mr.
Woodcock”) feature quite sincere and clever in its handling
but never manipulative, a sidestep that not only owes to the
top tier performances but to Nancy Oliver’s (“Six
Feet Under”) deft script that rounds off its characters.
Of Gillespie’s two films in the cinema halls this year,
“Lars and the Real Girl” is inscrutably of the
is first among equals in the crop of young Hollywood actors.
Dissimilar but not without commonalities from his previous
roles, he intelligently plays emotionally damaged individuals
with intensity and potent glimpses into their true nature.
The film benefits immensely from the sterling lead performance
by Gosling, who delves in Lars’s social disabilities
for pathos without ever turning him into a sad-sack caricature.
Evocating the human intangibles is difficult territory for
any actor so Gosling does what even Lars would do by closing
himself off physically, glazing over his expressions in a
deadpan wasteland of emotions and internalising his conflict
of rage and fears that he can only find comfort in something
just as impassive in Bianca, the doll.
its broad outline, “Lars and the Real Girl” presents
a portrait of a man who buys an anatomically correct doll
in proxy of opening himself to real relationships and to address
his unfulfilled needs. But not his physical needs, because
with vivid imagination, he paints Bianca from who she is,
her ancestry, her convictions, and Lars finally finds his
peace of mind when he’s together with her. It’s
also about the divine graces that are created for its characters
by other characters and how compassion is shared and returned.
the tracks on its story’s exposed nerves, Gillespie
initially sits back and lets Gosling take the reins by introducing
us to Lars and his perceptions of the world around that’s
so enclosed in stagnation that it only serves to enshrine
the milieu of a tight-knit community. It creates situations
where unhappiness collides with spirited humour, a remarkable
balance of tone that carries the weight of nuances and momentous
epiphanies. Intrinsically, the film is just a modest story
that reveals something much more about humanistic qualities
still at work in a cynical world.
a deeply rooted message of tolerance in this film that’s
being adopted by many Christian moviegoers as well, despite
its blow-up catalyst. In a world of cinematic crassness and
furious banalities of venomous dysfunction, it takes more
effort to carry the problems of our troubled kin on our backs
than to ostracise and repel. The film understands, profoundly
and with love and sadness, the fundamental fragilities that
shape us. In a landscape of other films that advocate conflict,
it is unusual to witness this film, which actually wants its
characters to get along and be happy. “Lars and the
Real Girl” is one of the best films of the year.
(Kind and gentle, it twines humour and deep emotions
into an immensely gratifying film)
Review by Justin Deimen