Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Brad and I saw a lovely movie perfectly crafted and performed. It is called Lars and the Real Girl. No one would believe such wonderfulness if given only its one-sentence summary: A awkward, lonely young man falls in love with a sex doll. Wha? So here is excerpts from Ebert's write-up to hopefully entice you into seeing it afterall.

Lars and the Real Girl, a critique written by Roger Ebert
How do you make a film about a life-sized love doll, ordered through the Internet, into a life-affirming statement of hope? In "Lars and the Real Girl," you do it with faith in human nature, and with a performance by
Ryan Gosling that says things that cannot be said. And you surround him with actors who express the instinctive kindness we show to those we love...

There are so many ways "Lars and the Real Girl" could have gone wrong that one of the film's fascinations is how adroitly it sidesteps them. Its weapon is absolute sincerity. It is about who Lars is, and how he relates to this substitute for human friendship, and that is all it's about. It has a kind of purity to it...

As we watch this process, we glimpse Lars' inner world, one of hurt but also hidden hope. Nine actors out of 10 would have (rightly) turned down this role, suspecting it to be a minefield of bad laughs. Gosling's work here is a study in control of tone. He isn't too morose, too strange, too opaque, too earnest. The word for his behavior, so strange to the world, is serene. He loves his new friend, treats her courteously and expects everyone else to give her the respect he does.

How this all finally works out is deeply satisfying. Only after the movie is over do you realize what a balancing act it was, what risks it took, what rewards it contains...

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