Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Go ahead. Call him a plant. Industry Killer’s been a talkbacker for a looooong time, and the one thing I know for sure is that he’s not a puppet for anyone. He’s opinionated, he has very particular likes and dislikes, and he’s more than willing to tell you about it. I love the title of this film, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. This is the first report I’ve heard from anyone who’s seen it, so check it out:
'Ello fellow Aicners, IndustryKiller! Here taking a minute off bitching about Transformers to bring you some information on an actual work of art. Now I may be in the minority here, but I felt Ryan Gosling deserved the academy award for best actor this year. I thought his somehow simultaneously subtle and intense work in Half Nelson harkened back to the sublime realism of the Pacino and Brando of old. He had an understated acting style that is underappreciated in this new world of accents and biopics. Moreover I think he is currently the best actor of his generation. This brings us to our feature presentation, Lars and the Real Girl. I was part of the first test screening for this the other day at the Arclight. So far this is a flick that has flown completely under the buzz radar and I gotta do my part to put a stop to that. Gosling plays Lars, a painfully introverted and lonely guy who lives with his brother and sister in law after the death of his father leaves him alone. You know this guy, you've seen him at work or around. the type that you wanna be really nice to because he's sweet and seems so sad, but won't go the extra mile because then you might actually have to spend time with him. He goes to church and work and does his best to avoid others including his family. One day Lars happily announces that he has a female visitor that will be staying with him, this greatly excites his brother and Sister in law who have begun to worry about his behavior, at least until they find out that this would be companion is one of those plastic sex dolls Lars has ordered off the internet. Moreover, Lars is completely convinced she is a real person, to the point that he has conversations, takes her to the doctor, and goes on walks with her. On a doctors (played ably by Patricia Clarkson) orders they decide to play along in an effort to help Lars out of his shell. Unlike Little Miss SUnshine, this is an indie comedy with real soul, not all too perfectly quirky characters whose lives fall apart according to the jokes. What struck me is how amazingly real the premise is played, never pandering to the comedy and never pushing false profundity and hope on us. Instead it allows it's characters to breathe and through that the story flourishes instead of becoming a slave to gags. What you see, rather than a comedy, is human beings reacting to a situation that happens to be comedic the way you or I would. And while it's an absolutely hilarious film, the filmmakers (and Gosling) never shy away from the fact that Lars is a very troubled individual with incredibly deep seeded insecurities, and as a result we have some very funny scenes punctuated with heart breaking drama. There is one scene in particular where Lars is at a party and you can plainly see Lars struggling with this new social urge combined with his crippling anti-social disorder. It's a scene so good I'll never listen to the Talking Heads "This Must be the Place (Naive melody)" with the same ears again. Gosling does this saying almost nothing and it's a brave performance. By the end of the film even the woman handing out questionnaires was crying. A nod also belong to Paul Schneider and the ethereal Emily Mortimer as Lars's brother and sister in law. It's also a film that doesn't treat small town America with disdain, but rather it's peripheral characters are well rounded and kind without coming off as naive and dumb. Being from a small New England town myself I found this pretty refreshing. I don't think this film comes out until fall even know it seemed damn near completion at this early date. I wasn't part of the focus groupd afterwards but God I hope they didn't give any typical jackass focus group advice. Apart from maybe a bit of tightening up late in the first act nothing needs to be changed in this film. Moreover I plead with the studio to support this film as judging from the audiences very enthusiastic reaction I think it has a very real shot at being a hit with the mainstream. It's certainly at least as funny as Little Miss Sunshine and a far better film from top to bottom. So on that note of hope, peace out.