LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
Running Length: 113 minutes
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner
Director: Craig Gillespie
Screenplay: Nancy Oliver
Cinematography: Adam Kimmel
Every now and again a film comes out of the blue which is so original it seems almost miraculous. Lars And The Real Girl is one of those films. More miraculous is that director Craig Gillespie and writer Nancy Oliver managed to make such a touching, heartfelt comedy from material that at first glance seems too flimsy to sustain even a five minute sketch.
Lars Lindstrom (the always extraordinary Ryan Gosling) is a socially maladjusted young man who lives in the garage behind his brother and sister-in-law’s house. They are constantly inviting Lars around, trying to draw him out of his shell, but Lars seems to prefer his own company. Then one night Lars announces he is expecting a visitor and would like to bring her to dinner.
Bianca, when she arrives at dinner, turns out to be a life-sized sex doll. She is a missionary, Lars claims, of Brazilian-Danish descent and she doesn’t believe in pre-marital sex. Shocked at first, Lars’s brother and sister-in-law decide to go along with his delusion, encouraging others in their small mid-western town to do so too. Soon the entire community has embraced Bianca, sensing that Lars is not a complete nut job, and that their support may help him through whatever personal crisis he is facing. Above and beyond all else, this is a film about kindness.
With flawless performances, a wonderfully inventive, pitch-perfect script (from first-timer Nancy Oliver) and thoughtful direction, Lars And The Real Girl is as near to perfect as any film I have seen in recent years.