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Entries in Ryan Gosling (68)

Wednesday
Sep212016

The Best Actor Competition... What is Going On Here? 

Only two men seem to have even remotely locked up their positions in the current Best Actor race and one of those only on reputation / material alone since no one has yet seen Denzel Washington's adaptation of Fences. So is it really Denzel for this third Oscar versus Casey Affleck for his first or is there more going on? There had better be since there are five nomination slots. Ten if you think of it in terms of Golden Globe excitement come year's end.

Since romantic male leads have historically had a tough time finding Oscar nominations from the male-heavy Academy body (romance is for girls. ewwwww, cooties) I know it looks weird to suggest that both Joel Edgerton and Ryan Gosling are looking likely but at this stage the field is what the field is. Gosling in particular, an actor whose work I've always deeply loved don't misunderstand, would seem like a clear miss. Think about it. He's headlining a musical which relies heavily on his effortless dreaminess, vibrant musicality, and physical grace. Not that those aren't award worthy attributes but Oscar is very gender-rigid about which adjectives are award worthy and if you say "dreamy, musical, and graceful" they'll think Best Actress. Which is why Emma Stone is much more locked up as a competitor at this stage, even though, musically speaking, she isn't as natural a dancer or musician. (Please note: Gosling also plays piano like a pro or can fake it better than pretty much any other actor I've ever seen.)

Edgerton & Gosling's chief competition looks like very young men (in terms of Oscar-voter tastes) in the form of Miles Teller (if his movie's a success), Dev Patel (if they don't do something fishy with the campaign), and Joe Alwyn (if he's tremendous in his debut and people love the movie). I know some are banking on Matthew McConaughey in Gold or Andrew Garfield in Silence (both sight unseen) but I'm suspicious in both cases. Just a hunch. 

That's where we'll find the gold.

The lack of heavy competition in this race means that Tom Hanks will finally be back after missing so recently for his arguably best work in Best Picture nominees. We can hope that the lack of excitement in this race (to date at least) will inspire more passion votes, too. If voters aren't feeling the leading men this year they could always look at off center giants like Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic. I'd be shocked if there's five stronger leading male performances than his this year -- not that "deserves" got much to do with it. 

The New Best Actor Chart - Thoughts? 

Wednesday
Aug312016

La La Land Razzle Dazzles Venice

Classic musicals from Singing in the Rain to An American in Paris to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg are being invoked to praise La La Land. There are comparisons to golden age stars like Shirley MacLaine, Grace Kelly and Gene Kelly. The Damien Chazelle film, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has critics at Venice falling in love and believing in the magic of cinema again. La La Land just topped our most anticipated fall film list and it looks like the excited anticipation was proven correct just a day later.

Here is an assortment of what is being said...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul132016

Yes, No, Maybe So: La La Land

During the Oscar campaign for Whiplash (2014) I was able to meet its breakthrough writer/director Damien Chazelle a few times and he even dropped hints to me about his plans for La La Land. I couldn't believe my ears that we would get a real musical from him. Given that both of his first two films centered around musicians, it shouldn't have been such a surprise. 

Here we are nearly two years later with the first teaser trailer and what sounds like a surefire Best Original Song nominee in "City of Stars" (now available to download) have emerged and we're already yes yes gimme.

The film's synopsis (which we hope is just an excuse to hang swoony scenes and musical numbers on) goes like so:

Jazz musican Sebastian and his girlfriend, aspiring actress Mia, struggle to cope with the pressures of trying to make it big in Hollywood. 

Let's talk about the teaser after the jump, breaking it down with our Yes No Maybe So system.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May232016

Review: The Nice Guys

It’s Eric, with thoughts on the new Gosling/Crowe comedy, The Nice Guys.   

I’ll bet this project looked amazing on paper.   Bring writer/director Shane Black back to the comic buddy picture world where he started with 1987’s Lethal Weapon.  Set the film in the disco-cool world of 1977 Los Angeles.  Hire two accomplished dramatic actors, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, to play the leads, two low-life losers on the fringe of detective work unexpectedly uniting to hunt for a girl involved in a series of murders in the porn industry.  Throw in a cute daughter for Gosling’s character for some sweetness.  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr072016

April Showers: Blue Valentine

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Blue Valentine (2010).

What are you doing?

-What does it look like I'm doing?

Getting all wet and naked.

A shower scene between two clearly beautiful lovers (even with the aging makeup) has rarely felt less erotic and more heartbreaking. This exchange manages to perfectly illustrate the tragic state of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy’s (Michelle Williams) relationship in Derek Cianfrance’s modern masterpiece, Blue Valentine. Dean is still obliviously playful, too willing to overlook the realities of his disintegrating marriage in favor of ham-handedly ginning up passion and romance. Cindy feels trapped and hopeless, unable to seek refuge from her husband’s obtuse adulation even in the shower. Her voice drips with the weary impatience often heard in response to a child’s incessant questioning, which frankly is not too dissimilar to how Cindy regards Dean at this point. It’s very much an extension of the first time we see Cindy. She’s lying in bed in the early hours of the morning. Her husband and young daughter, very much equals in their oppressive childlike exuberance bound in and snap her from the slumber into the harsh reality that is this life in which she has found herself.

The traditional (and very valid) reading of Blue Valentine’s two-ply structure (the birth of a romance intercut with its slow, painful death) is that Dean and Cindy have lost something. Their love, once ideal and passionate has been suffocated under the stresses of parenthood and a whirlwind courtship turned into a long marriage. However, there are clear indications in the earlier years that bumps in the road litter their future. Dean wants to be whatever Cindy needs him to be, but lacks the motivation or introspection to figure out how to do so. And Cindy, still unsure of herself can’t begin to know exactly what it is she needs from Dean.

As satisfying as it is to watch them fall in love in their earliest interactions, this is clearly the dynamic from the beginning. As deeply enamored with one another as they are, Dean and Cindy enter each other's lives as solutions to a problem. This problem is bigger than her unremarkable relationship with the lug, Bobby Ontario (Mike Vogel), her eventual pregnancy or her desire to leave her abusive father’s house. It's bigger than Dean's aimlessness paired destructively with his need to be a savior. It’s a problem neither of them can identify, which makes the solution frustratingly out of reach.

So, in this moment, Dean and Cindy take a shower that’s anything but romantic. In the “future room” of this kitschy lovers’ motel, it’s the last gasp of a romance that may well have no future at all. Only a past, looked back upon with unreliable rose-colored glasses and a present where these two lovers, once white hot with passion, can hardly seem to look at each other. Even in the confines of a shower.

Monday
Mar212016

The One Thought I Had While Staring At The Nice Guys Poster

Manuel here. I was making my way through recent casting news, and trailers dropped, and posters revealed to see what I should share with you all this morning when I found the new poster for the Russell Crowe/Ryan Gosling buddy action comedy The Nice Guys and well… I was hypnotized by one specific detail about it.

Did you spot it? I can’t unsee it and I keep going back and forth on whether it’s an intentional flourish on the part of the marketing team (if so, thank you Concept Arts, you know your Gosling audience well!) or just an inadvertent consequence of the period-appropriate attire the Shane Black flick is going for (it would also mesh well with the cheeky tone of the film's very funny trailer). Either way, I had to open it up to the TFE readership at large: will you be watching the film to see if this VPL is a key plot point in the film?

Oh, yeah, I guess we should talk more about the film's plot which pairs a bumbling private eye (Gosling) with a no-nonsense er, "enforcer" (Crowe) to solve a missing person's case (Kim Bassinger's daughter in the film; oh, did I bury the lede that Bassinger is in this? Wait til you hear Matt Bomer is in it too!). The film definitely feels well within the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang wheelhouse but that's not a complaint since I very much enjoyed that 2005 film which, we have to admit, paved the way for the Robert Downey Jr. renaissance we all thought might never come to pass. Pre-Iron Man RDJ—remember that? Seems like a lifetime ago. And yes, that's also a reminder that Black is fresh off directing Iron Man 3 which makes his return to more off-kilter filmmaking a welcome change (oftentimes you just lose directors to the sequel/blockbuster-making machine, you know?)

Feel free to watch the trailer and let us know which way you’re leaning.