Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

Lars and the Real Girl & r & & r & by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & "G & lt;/span & uy falls in love with a blow-up sex doll." Some people are never going to get past the premise of Lars and the Real Girl. That's ridiculous, they say. Freakish. Couldn't happen.





As if there aren't any men out there so desperately lonely that they might need a companion-receptacle to fill with imaginary musings.





In the DVD's featurettes, actors and producers admit that the Oscar-nominated script by Nancy Oliver (Six Feet Under) treads a fine line between real life and fairy tales. So even if it stretches credulity that an entire small town would cooperate in sustaining Lars' delusion, Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Half Nelson) lends realism by embodying the extremes of Lars' character, his reticence and compassion.





In the opening credits sequence, Gosling hides inside his dark garage apartment, even from a family member, peering out at a world that frightens him. Gosling gives Lars a nervous eye-twitch and a tight little smile that's generous and defensive at the same time. He wants to be with people, but he doesn't know how to be around them.





There are things Lars does with flowers and teddy bears that are surprising, funny and disturbed. There's a sequence at a house party, when the community strives hardest to accept Lars' relationship with his girlfriend-out-of-a-box, Bianca. (She's a wheelchair-ridden missionary from Brazil, Lars informs us, so she doesn't speak English very well.) While the host dances with the inflatable girl, director Craig Gillespie cuts to Gosling -- his fists tight in some parody of an old man's dance, his face scrunched in a mix of happiness and pained anxiety.





Gosling gets support from a strong ensemble. As Lars' brother, Paul Schneider's eye-rolling slow burns are among the film's few indications that some folks might be repulsed by Lars' infatuation. Emily Mortimer (Match Point) delivers an screechy-voiced declaration of love, instantly quotable; along with Patricia Clarkson's somber psychologist, she's the film's heart of compassion. Bianca's pretty good too.





No, really: Her clothing, facial expressions and skin tone all change over the course of the movie. Even blow-up dolls have character arcs. (Rated PG-13)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Ryan's Last Ride
  • Ryan's Last Ride

    Ryan Holyk's family is still searching for answers in the bicycle accident that cost him his life
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Idaho Against the World
  • Idaho Against the World

    Idaho lawmakers weaken child-support efforts; plus, who really believes in climate change?
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Don't Test Me
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Earth Day Spokane

Earth Day Spokane @ Riverfront Park

Sat., April 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

marijuana


Briefs


Comment


Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation