4.0, United States/Canada

Lars and the Real Girl

2007 / Craig Gillespie > This is the opposite of what every independent film-viewer has come to accept: That there is a world out there without cynicism, that people are generally good, even if troubled, that love is not impossible due to external social forces. Nancy Oliver’s thoughtful script is devoid of the type of silly comedy one would expect from a film about a guy and his “real doll.” Instead, the laughter is a gut response in relation to everyday life, about seeing things and understanding life’s simple ironies and accepting them in their due course. Lars and the Real Girl provides the foundation for another superb performance by Ryan Gosling that ought to have given him an Oscar nod. This is, without a doubt, one of the most surprising finds of 2007.