Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Lars and the Real Girl Review: Which one is more real? - Movie Reviews, Film Reviews, Movies, Films, Film, Entertainment, Film Entertainment, TV, Television, Television Reviews, TV Reviews

I have had the privilege recently to see quite a few examples of great acting in my pursuit of content to review for my blog, but I think one of the best so far has to be the performance of Ryan Gosling as the socially inept Lars Lindstrom in the strangely honest Lars and the Real Girl. Traditionally, when a person talks to an inanimate object like a life-size doll in film or television it tends to be the very strange or often disturbed sociopaths who are portrayed on screen doing it. In many ways Lars and the Real Girl attempts to challenge our ideas of what normal is and how we should deal with it and it’s done really well.

Probably the only aspect of this film that disturbed me in any serious way was the fact that I could see much of myself in the main character up until about 15 minutes into the movie. The best way to describe the character of Lars is as a functional recluse in that he has a job, he has friends, but by in large he keeps to himself and spends a lot of time alone. It’s completely understandable by the time the ‘real girl’ shows up why he felt the need to buy one. For obvious reasons, people are very much concerned about him when he starts taking the mannequin out places with him as if they were a real person, but what quickly becomes apparent in the film is that this is not a ‘sex doll’ for Lars.

He doesn’t use it for what most people would assume. To him, this is a real person with a whole life, back story and personality. Now one might assume that something like that would come off as weird and somewhat off putting. Ryan Gosling however manages to make it work. He doesn’t overplay the interaction between him and the doll he refers to as Bianca. He doesn’t come off as psychotic or having broken entirely with reality. In most cases, Lars Lindstrom comes off like a man in love with a real woman. You might even be able to say that the doll is as much a character in the film as any of the actors who worked with it.

Yes, I know that sounds really strange, but I recently had someone tell me that after seeing the movie they actually got emotional about the doll. To avoid spoilers I will refrain from saying what emotion that was, however if that isn’t a testament to the acting ability of the people involved, then I don’t know what is. A film like this tends to get sidelined from a wider audience because of the content or controversy it might create, and that can be a real shame. But one of the benefits of the online market place and DVD/Bluray is that those who go looking for it can find it.

Actors should definitely go looking for this film. You’ve heard the term “Can’t act their way out of a paper bag”? The actors in this film acted their way out of a difficult situation with this film. Lesser actors and filmmakers would have made this story about a creepy man who develops a strange relationship with a weird fetish. But they proved that you don’t always have to go there with stories to get attention. You don’t always have to be the guy in the corner who doesn’t know what to do. Sometimes you can find a way to make it out of your problems and transform yourself into a better person. Even if the way you have to do it is with a life size mannequin you treat like a real person.

So which one is more real? Lars or the Read Girl? I honestly don’t know, but the question itself is great to watch.

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