Lars And The Real Girl is directed by Craig Gillispie and stars Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer as a young man develops a delusional relationship with a fake doll, in order to cope with his introverted social and family relationships. I've been seeing this, over 10 year old movie, pop up in my feed a lot as of late and since Gosling is probably among my top 3 actors working today, I figured I'd give this one a shot. The premise is extremely odd and eccentric and you definitely need to rewire your mind to get wrapped up in the emotion of the story here. If you can do that, you'll find a deeply moving experience beyond the surface level silliness of the set up. .
My main takeaway here is just how great of a performer, even early on in his career, Ryan Gosling is. He is fantastic here, going through the range of emotions like almost nothing I've seen before. He doesn't speak much, particularly in the beginning and the way he emotes, using only facial expressions, is so impressive and just goes to show why this actor is at the level he is today. This film also does a great job of taking this very ridiculous narrative and grounding it in reality. You would think a guy that walks around with, essentially a fancy blowup doll, would be played for comedy and it is at times, but it's more or less playing it straight and you as the audience decide when it's funny. It also does something really unique and smart as it makes the entire town play along with Gosling's delusion, which is increases your attachment to this doll as a character. You feel for it, even though you know it's fake, because everyone in the film treats it with a sincerity that is very real and heartwarming. Mortimer and Schneider are also really good as the brother and sister in law, but kind of get outclassed by Gosling and it shows. Although, I thought Kelli Garner as Margot,did really well in the few scenes she was in, playing off Gosling's semi-insanity.
Gillispie, who would go on to do "I Tonya," is on top of his game directing here. Overall, this isn't the greatest I've ever seen, but it's a fun, whimsical, psychological character piece that is very interesting to watch unfold.
SCORE - 8.5/10