Monday, September 19, 2011

Feeding My Ryan Gosling Addiction...

My name is Larry and I am becoming increasingly more addicted to Ryan Gosling.

We saw Gosling's terrifically cool (and seriously violent) Drive over the weekend. I was mesmerized by director Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-stylized homage to 80s movies, particularly in the opening sequences, but more than that, I was really taken in by yet another of Gosling's fantastic performances.

Gosling plays a movie stunt driver and garage mechanic by day who lends his services as a getaway driver at night to those in need. Given his evening pastime, he is fairly circumspect about sharing any personal information, but that doesn't make his character less intriguing. He becomes involved with his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), a young waitress and mother whose husband is just about to get out of prison. As you watch Gosling and Mulligan's interactions you are captivated as much by what is not said as what is.

In an effort to protect Irene and her son, Gosling's character agrees to help her husband settle a debt. And that's when things go horrifically awry, bringing Gosling into the sphere of soft-spoken gangster Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks, playing marvelously against type) and his loud, violent partner, Nino (Ron Perlman).

This is the second of three Gosling movies released this year. He gave a terrific performance (abs notwithstanding) in the marvelous Crazy, Stupid, Love (to which I pledged my devotion earlier this summer), and he has a much-buzzed-about performance in George Clooney's upcoming political thriller The Ides of March. While I don't know if any of these performances will be award-worthy, I hope Gosling gets more recognition for his acting soon.

Gosling is one of those actors who is terrific to watch, for his incredible ability to totally occupy a character, as well as his obvious physical characteristics. In addition to Crazy, Stupid, Love, he has turned in some truly memorable performances over the years.

Those include: Blue Valentine, a mesmerizing (and depressing) look at a marriage in decline. Gosling gives a performance that absolutely should have been nominated for an Oscar last year, alongside the deservedly nominated Michelle Williams; the fabulously lovable and goofy Lars and the Real Girl, where he plays a social misfit whose relationship with a blow-up doll he orders from the internet captivates those around him; his Oscar-nominated performance in Half Nelson, where he plays a teacher with a drug habit who makes an impression on an inner-city girl, and the unforgettably disturbing The Believer, one of his earliest films, where he plays a racist skinhead who turns out to be Jewish.

If you've missed any of these, check out Netflix (or Qwikstar—ugh) ASAP. And please share which of Gosling's films feed your addiction.

So now I've acknowledged my little obsession. Thanks for listening.

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