Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Craig Gillespie's "Lars and the Real Girl"

Craig Gillespie's companionable "Lars and the Read Girl" (based on a socko original script by Nancy Oliver) plays like the lost third side of a Bud Cort trilogy from the 1970s. It could have been a follow-up by Cort to his turns in "Brewster McCloud" and "Harold and Maude," and one day, if there are still resouceful movie bookers around, may make a terrific triple bill with those films. As the title implies, Gillespie's film is an oddball romance about a pathetic half-person named Lars who engages in an affair with a sex doll with such innocence and dignity that he moves the people in his little town to play along. Bianca, as the doll is called, may be inanimate but the remarkable Ryan Gosling invests Lars with enough tics and bits of acting business to fill two performances - two quiet, introspective performances, that it. Almost as good are Paul Schneider as Lars' concerned brother, Gus; Emily Mortimer, like a deglamorized Audrey Hepburn here, as Gus' empathetic wife, and Patricia Clarkson as the town doctor who analyzes Lars without his even knowing it. A nice movie.

(Artwork: The scarily talented Ryan Gosling as the socially crippled Lars Lindstrom)

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Anonymous said...

I liked this a lot. As you point out, the ensemble is superb. If SAG overlooks them, they're nuts. I'd also throw in Nancy Beatty, who plays the no-nonsense lady who most vocally supports tolerance of Lars and his "lady friend."

a.n. said...

If you're scrolling Netflix looking for something worth watching, watch this