Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Written by Nancy Oliver, Directed by Craig Gillespie
Ryan Gosling… Lars Lindstrom
Emily Mortimer… Karin
Paul Schneider… Gus
R.D. Reid… Reverend Bock
Kelli Garner… Margo
Patricia Clarkson… Dagmar (Bianca and Lars’ doctor)
- Is this film a love story? What types of love do we encounter is this film?
- Does this film fit easily into a specific genre? How does it fit into the context of ‘quirky’ comedies? Is this film funny? If so, does the comedy come from the ‘cringe’ factor, the shock factor, out of sympathy/pathos or from somewhere else?
- How does this film deal with the issues surrounding ‘growing up’? Think about invisible friends, comfort blankets/teddies, playing pretend. Consider the fact that Gosling apparently improvised the teddy CPR scene… would the film lose something without this?
- How would this situation be dealt with in ‘real’ life? To what extent is the audience being asked to suspend their disbelief? Think about the representation of a small town community and the Church (not to mention medical bills.)
- Consider representation of gender politics, sex and sexuality. Does any part of us condemn Lars’ purchase?
- How much does the success of the film rely on the strength of Ryan Gosling’s performance?
- How do we deal with mental health issues? If someone is happy and they are not hurting anyone else, is their mental health issue a ‘problem’?
- Just for fun – Discuss the variety of sweaters worn by Lars and Margo.
Listen out for Ryan Gosling’s weird and wonderful singing voice. For more of this, check out the Dead Man’s Bones self-titled album. It’s perfect for Halloween.