Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Netflix is My Friend

I've been slowly making my way through my Netflix queue. Recently, I've seen There Will Be Blood, Becoming Jane, Atonement, Juno, La Vie En Rose, and Lars and the Real Girl. It's that last one I want to discuss, as the rest are only varying degrees of okay. (Actually, that's not entirely true. Juno was much better than I expected and quite sweet. But I'm not discussing that film today.)

If you haven't seen Lars and the Real Girl, don't wait a minute longer. Written by Six Feet Under's Nancy Oliver, the movie stars Ryan Gosling as an emotionally stunted introvert who can't seem to embrace and live life fully. Then one evening, he shows up on his brother's and sister-in-law's doorstep and says he's met someone. Delighted, they welcome Lars and his new friend, Bianca, into their home. Only thing is, Bianca is a life-size sex doll.

What follows is an endearing look at the human psyche and the traumas and sorrows we internalize. In the course of Lars' relationship with Bianca, the town embraces his delusion and goes so far as to give Bianca a job as a model in a women's clothing shop, enlists her as a volunteer at the local hospital, and ensures she has the occasional girl's night out with other women in the town.

Patricia Clarkson gives a brilliant performance as Dr. Dagmar. Ryan Gosling is sweet and is supported wonderfully by Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, and Kelli Garner. Out of five stars, I give this one a four and a half. In fact, I liked it so much, I'm going to buy it and add it to my DVD collection.

7 comments:

talkingbudgie said...

Ooooh! I remember seeing a preview for that and wanting to watch it! Thanks for reminding me :)

I also loved La Vie en Rose. It was brilliant. I rarely cry in movies, but I shed a tear or two in that one.

Phoenix Touch said...

I LOVED LOVED *LOVED* "Lars and the Real Girl." It was brilliant and poignant and really got me to thinking. I think Ryan pulled off a masterful performance in this one. Funny thing... I am so jaded that I kept waiting for some highly offensive gratuitous sex scene with the life-size sex doll. I was pleasantly surprised!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

E:) : La Vie en Rose made me shed a tear or two, too. And the actress who portrayed Edith Piaf totally deserved her Oscar for her performance. She was stunning! Lars and the Real Girl is a great film, too. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Abgue: I know what you mean. I had one moment in the film (I can't remember where now) where I thought, "Uh-oh, I hope this doesn't go there." Thankfully, it didn't. It would have diminished the story if it had. Love this movie! LOVE.IT.

Cele said...

Gracious I'd never even heard of the movie before, I will have to try it.

So you didn't care for Becoming Jane? Darn.

Jess said...

I want to see this movie now! I wonder if Torsten will want to see it too.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: I'd give Becoming Jane three stars out of five. It was an intriguing story and I love James McAvoy, but I thought the ending was a bit overwrought and maudlin, not to mention untrue. That said, though, it was fun to see how Jane's life influenced her works.

Jess: I think Torsten would enjoy it. It's a sweet film, but not overly saccharin.

SinlessTouch said...

I loved this movie. The sex doll had a profound effect all over the town and Ryan gave a masterful performance.