Oscar History

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Ryan Gosling as Busby Berkeley? We're In.

We can breathe easy now. Ryan Gosling isn't actually going to retire from acting. His next project is of course behind the camera (How To Catch a Monster starring Christina Hendricks) but sometime after that we could well see him choreographing up a virtual storm of beautiful shapes made from shapely beauties. He's (possibly) attached to a Busby Berkeley biopic. The film will be based on Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak

Gosling & Busby

It's not the type of project we imagined him for him as musicals went. In fact it's easier to picture him as one of those handsome singing hosts in tuxes in the musical numbers who present the parade of beautiful girls, but this isn't actually all that far off. Busby Berkeley was a driven visionary, always out to top himself, and messing with the boundary of the stage and the possibility of the camera long before Rob Marshall kept throwing his hands up and just filming dance numbers on a stage. Though Berkeley is best remembered for this massive dance numbers with relatively anonymous legions of chorus girls, he frequently worked with big stars like Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Eleanor Powell  and Gene Kelly (good luck finding people to play them!) and was married six times so there's lots of temperamental drama possibilities here.  

I'm always surprised when Hollywood greenlights movies about themselves. Though Oscar is often drawn to movies about movies they are rarely anything more than modest hits with the public if they're that.

And yet, if his reminds Hollywood of the virtues of choreography that you can actually see (stop with the constant closeups during dance numbers, already!) and of the virtues of Ryan Gosling gifts outside of strong and silent anti-heroes, than we all win.

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Reader Comments (7)

I think that this has just become my most anticipated film of what everyear it comes out in!

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

I adore how unexpected this is. It feels like so long since I've seen Gosling reach outside that strong-and-silent-antihero niche, and I'm predisposed to be all about the subject matter. I hope this moves forward in production quickly!

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

And Joan Blondell should be played by Megan Hilty.

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Uh, wait a sec...Gosling will be speaking in this, right?

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I hope they don't CGI the dance numbers. Part of the excitement was the perfect symmetry.

I agree about Hilty. And let McPhee be showgirl #3.

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I can see why Gosling is interested in playing him. The man's life was fraught with catastrophes, mostly of his own making. Here's hoping that they manage to capture the wonder of his work along with the tragedies that piled up as his life progressed.

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Gosling as Berkley hmmm interesting- now are they actually going to re-create all those numbers with CGI ? And who is going to play Carmen Miranda ?

March 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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