2011: The Year of The Gosling

2011 was a very good year for films; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Future; Begginers; Jane Eyre…etc.

It was also a very good year for Ryan Gosling. Forget The Year of The Rabbit. 2011 was The Year of The Gosling.*

A huge fan of his from films such as; Half Nelson and Lars and The Real Girl, I was excited to see him turning up in both independent and bigger budget films last year. However…

GOSLING WAS ROBBED. Barely a nomination. No awards. NOTHING. Sorry, not ANYTHING! This prompted me to pay him a little attention.

And so I bring to you my, Gosling 2011 Round-Up.

Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine like the title suggests, is an absolute heartbreaker. With a moving script and superb acting by not only Gosling but Michelle Williams also, this film will break your heart.

Seriously.

It should swap its parental guidance sticker for one warning you of the perils of finding out just what happens to couples after they’ve been together for longer than five minutes. So painful at times, it makes 500 Days of Summer look like a Rom-Com (Okay maybe that one was kind of a Rom-Com, but you get what I mean…)

With some really beautifully shots scenes, a great sountrack and an interesting manipulation of story, this film is my top pick of the lot; aptly at the top.

The Ides of March

There were so many things to already like about this film. Ok, three. No, four; Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

To be honest this film could have been as bad as it liked, I’d of still found it hard to slate.

But that was before I saw it.

Often lacking in pace and…pizzaz, (yes, pizzaz), this film for me never really got going. Possibly a good cast wasted with lacklustre writing and performances; trying it seems to highlight the two-faced nature of politics its poster suggests, a little too much.

Gosling dubbed by many as the new George Clooney, is however rightfully showcased; if you look closely you can even trace him handing over the baton throughout. It’s a good progression.

Other than a great cast, if you never saw The Ides of March, you wouldn’t lose any sleep. I’ll let the academy off for this one…

Drive

(thanks to Daily Acutu)

Gosling’s highest grossing film of the year by a long shot; Drive, is probably the biggest shocker for no big award wins.

Nominated for an Oscar in sound editing, like Gosling the film was royally snubbed by the academy.

With frequent use of slow motion and explicit vioelnce, giving Goodfellas a good run for its money at times, it was a little style over substance for me.

However, Gosling gives a good performance (a pattern which seems to be emerging…) but is let down a little by Refn’s neglect of character development. We’re thrown into relationships and characters we’re supposed to care about and silences that are supposed to have a powerful poignancy (along with a lot of smiling between gosling and Mulligan). Refn can’t take all the flak for this. Gosling is pretty open about his involvement in it’s development, favouring to take a lot of the novel’s dialougue out, of which is was adapted from.

A Scorsese use of music and a noticeable change of pace in the second half, Drive was certainly still enjoyable. Possibly a tactical inner circle snub of Refn; it definitely deserved to win something.

(okay there might have been another reason i liked this film)

Crazy Stupid Love

Okay I didn’t save the best till last. And no I didn’t buy it. But it shows Gosling doesn’t really take himself too seriously. Something which is evident in interviews and various online videos flying around.

Yes, the film was cheesy but it also had some genuinely funny moments.

A film about a forty-something year old loser (a role Steve Carell seems compelled to play) seeking the return of his wife (Julianne Moore), through the help of ladies man Jacob (Gosling), kind of works. As does the relationship between Gosling and Carell.

Even when at times it could have so easily been sabotaged by both actor’s attempt at being funny, the script flows and is upheld by a strong cast.

This one is maybe one to stick on post, Blue Valentine.

Predictions for 2012: The Year of Fassbender

*(not to be confused with the baby animal (though…))

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