Lars and the Real Girl (2007) Directed by Craig Gillespie. With Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner and Patricia Clarkson.
With little in the way of financial return, but an overwhelmingly positive critical response, Craig Gillespie’s ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ is an at first odd, but ultimately touching film that showcases the finer side of human nature. In the central role of Lars, Ryan Gosling gives an absorbing performance that underlines his status as bona fide actor above movie star.
Gosling’s ‘Lars’ is a true loner. Living alone and isolating himself as much as humanly possible, Lars literally runs away from any person to person encounters to the bewilderment of his concerned brother and sister-in-law. The time for intervention comes when Lars abruptly announces he has begun a relationship with someone he’s met via the internet called Bianca. To their horror, Lars’ relatives discover Bianca to be a life-sized doll which is a scene that plays as initially hilarious but very quickly sobers into something far more tragic.
What could easily descend in to mockery and or even out right silliness instead becomes something far more emotionally resonant, and through Gosling’s beautiful performance shines as a well considered piece of drama that speaks of heartfelt love and loyalty in ways many of your average rom-coms could never come close to realising.
The way in which the surrounding community responds to Lars’ delusions is perhaps a romantic version of how real life would treat such a situation, but in terms of sending out a message about the human capacity for good, this is a film which has it’s good intentions tattooed for all to see. 4/5