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Entries in Ryan Gosling (60)

Sunday
Oct232011

Happy Birthday Scorpio Readers!

How many Scorpio readers do we have?  Is everything they say about your kind true: Passionate, dynamic, loyal, resourceful, jealous, obsessive and manipulative? You're quite a handful.

What do you want for your special day?

... I mean besides Drive's instantly iconic jacket which would look so good on you. You can actually convince your loaded friends to buy for you here. It's only $160. Do tell us your birthday wishes in the comments.

Ryan Gosling, who playes the driver in Drive -- which you've all seen twice by now, right? - is actually a Scorpio himself. (He turns 31 on November 12th). But for this day only, let us imagine other famous Scorpios in this silent and deadly role.

Ready?

Movies shapeshift immediately with a new face in the lead role, don't they!?

Which of those imaginary movies do you want to see.

 

Tuesday
Oct182011

Q&A: Ryan's Harem, a SMG Triplet, & Streep/Close Duet.

Because I am super late in this week's (er.. last week's Q&A column) I'm answering more questions than usual. So let's get right to it. 

Ed: After Michelle Williams and Evan Rachel Wood, which actress under 30 would you love to see Ryan Gosling falling in love in the big screen?

I've been joking with friends (offscreen) that Ryan Gosling has basically made it his goal to bang every hot future Oscar winner in Hollywood (onscreen): Rachel, Evan, Kiki, Michelle, Carey, Emma. He's the envy of every straight and/or actressexual moviegoer out there. So pretty soon he'll have to get around to ANNE HATHAWAY, right? I'd be interested to see what he'd be like paired with Andrea Riseborough, Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), and... Oooh... totally random also small screen that needs to be bigger: Katee Sackhoff! She's 31 (Ryan's age) but she never gets good roles despite so much screen presence and I'm imagining that they'd completely burn holes in the celluloid if paired. (Unless they were shot digitally of course.)

Andrew K: I've seen you mention, in passing, that X actor should campaign in leading instead of supporting and although you're usually referring to the despicable nature of category fraud I'm curious as to whether or not you consider a Leading Oscar superior to a Supporting One.

I do not. And I don't think anyone else would either if it wasn't so often used as a demotion just to get a nomination or statue for the big stars. But the combination of egregious widely-accepted category fraud, the use of supporting statues to honor novelty acts or entire movies instead of performances (you all know what I'm talking about)  and the natural human tendency to think being a movie star (i.e. lead) is better than being a character actor (i.e. supporting) have only strengthened this belief that a supporting Oscar is an inferior prize. An Oscar is an Oscar if you ask me.

Julian: Christina Ricci, under-rated or over-rated? 

Depends on who you're talking to. I'd say early Christina is underrated and contemporary Christina is overrated. I mean it when I say she should have three Oscar nominations already: Addams Family Values (1993 -- not joking), The Ice Storm (1997) and The Opposite of Sex (1998). She's still totally watchable and charismatic but there's some missing ingredient lately. Black Snake Moan seemed like such an ideal opportunity to wow again but she didn't quite elevate it. In Pan Am she just seems like window dresssing. Adorable and pretty and funny window dressing yes... but not much more. It seems weird to hire her and then give all the good storylines to the lesser known actresses in that show? 

Daniel: What´s your favorite musical? And song in a musical?

My favorite musical is West Side Story which had its 50th anniversary this weekend and I was so stressed out I forgot to celebrate it godddddddamnit. I've long thought about doing a top ten favorite song performances in musicals but I'm not sure I'd ever be able to narrow it down. It depends on the mood...

favored songs, TV soaps, and a Streep/Close switcheroo after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct122011

'hey, girl. I got you these links.'

Film Critic Why We Need More Female Directors
Feminist Ryan Gosling 'Hey girl. Anne Fausto-Sterling has a theory that five categorical sexes would help break constrictive gender noms, but the only sex I need is you.' LOL! Best new novelty tumbler alert.
WQXR "Movies on the Radio" is streaming a long tribute to the music of Pixar to honor Steve Jobs in passing. Have a listen. 

The Front Row interesting piece on sex in the movies (by way of the two Fassy pictures) though I disagree with quite a lot of it. I personally don't think there's enough nudity/sex in the movies, given it's place in the general fabric of life nor do I think Shame is particularly coy about bodies.
Ultra Culture has quite a different view on Shame but loves it.
The WOW Report Cher being her awesome self, cheering Chaz on.  
Liz Smith reminds us why Tom Cruise is still a star, despite it all. With references to other legendary actors and actresses.
Empire this will only mean something to you if you loved the über indie Primer (which put so many big budget sci-fi movies to shame) many years ago. Its debut director Shane Carruth is finally working on another movie. 

The Critical Condition on Take Shelter. I haven't written about this movie and I guess maybe I won't, but I am quite in agreement with what Mark says right here.
Movie|Line no Liberace for your future Oscar predictions; the Steven Soderbergh biopic is going to HBO.
Serious Film doesn't think Oscar voters should forget these performances from earlier in the year and I must say they're interesting choices.
fourfour distills Downton Abbey for ya with giggles and sighs.

Today's Must Read Miranda July shoplifts for The New Yorker in "Free Everything". I heart. The New Yorker is the best magazine. The writing is always so good that it doesn't even matter what the topic is. I recent finished a multi-page essay on Taylor Swift and it felt like a thrilling page turner and I could not care less about Taylor Swift. 

Saturday
Oct082011

Faces of Future Movies, The Men

In this week's column at Towleroad, I meant to just type up a few words about The Ides of March and continue the possibly tired 2011 motif of drooling all over Ryan Gosling as he completes his ascendance to alpha dog of Hollywood's new pack.

What 's your take on Hollywood's male talent pool (under 35 division)?

Instead I went hundreds of words overboard and it morphed into a substantial but by no means complete summary of the male acting talent under 35. I figured why not since the movies currently in theaters are all about the male stars: Gosling, Gordon-Levitt, Jackman, Clooney, Pitt, etcetera.

In the article you can read about whose work I'm most looking forward to and who may have already peaked (though I hope not). There's also a brief bit about the overvalued that still need to justify Hollywood's faith in them... and my personal pleas for the grossly undervalued.

It's an extension of the conversation we started here a month ago about whether Gos' and Fassy had any competition as "Future of the Movies". (Naturally, this made me want to do a similar longer piece on the actresses but that's so much more expected and will have to wait.)  

Answer me these questions three
1. Who are you rooting for in the next five years of the movies?
2. If you were a casting director which undervalued lesser known player would you go to bat for?
3. Would you dig more Film Experience digging into the depth of the young(er) talent pool?  

Monday
Sep262011

All Male Revue: Brad, Andy and Ryan (who is just too Ryan).

The Film Experience is known the world over for its actressy devotions but for this quickie link-list, we've gone Men Only for some reason. Must be all that Best Actor talk in the air... or rather in the internetz. On that front I would like to note that my Best Actor chart is HAUNTING ME. It went the way of the dinosaur once Moneyball hit... rendering past speculations moot and the html coding is suddenly acting up, too. Yes, Brad Pitt vaults up when the charts are all redone on Friday. Weekly updates, however minor, follow from then on. Aren't you excited?

Okay okay. Enough screams and tears of joy for weekly charts. Settle.

Hello Giggles a must-read letter to Ryan Gosling. "You have to stop. Just stop. It’s getting to be too much."
Oscar Metrics Mark Harris in the lonely outfield, doubting Brad Pitt's nominatability for Moneyball.  
In Contention surveys the crowded Best Actor field and talks Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon.
Cinema Blend  Justin Timberlake has already played one man who rocked the rock world (Napster founder in The Social Network.)  Next he'll play Neil Bogart who introduced 70s acts like KISS and The Village People to the world in Spinning Gold.

Towleroad Actor Sean Maher (of Firefly and The Playboy Club) comes out of the closet.
Movie|Line talks to Corey Stoll of Midnight in Paris career-boosting.

Oh and only because I know I'll forget. A very happy 50th birthday to Andy Lau tomorrow. He's been super busy lately what with festival appearances, multiple new films and headlining the Hong Kong Oscar submission A Simple Life which stars Deannie Yip (Best Actress Venice) as his life long nanny who suddenly needs him to caretake. Please to remember that Lau was Matt Damon before Matt Damon was Matt Damon in The Departed by way of the original film Infernal Affairs. Have you ever seen that one?  

Here's the subtitled trailer to his Oscar entry A Simple Life.

Wednesday
Sep212011

Say What Gangsta?

Amuse us. Add a caption or dialogue to this photo in the comments. It's Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone on the set of the crime drama The Gangster Squad (2013) which takes place in the Los Angeles of 1949.

I'll repost later with the winning comment.

Sunday
Sep182011

Review: The Self Possession of "Drive"

There's 100,000 streets. You don't need to know the route."

The Driver is alone in a hotel room. Looking out over the city at night, negotiating on a cel phone he'll abandon immediately. We never learn his name. We don't need to know it.

His face is Ryan Gosling's, but even so it's a less familiar landscape than you'd think. With Drive, the actor erases any doubts (were there any?) that he's the most exciting young movie star on this side of the Atlantic. For the driver, his face has taken on a new mask-like stillness which twice in Nicolas Winding Refn's brilliant new movie, is covered (redundantly) by an actual mask. There is no knowing this driver; if we were given his name we'd forget it anyway or doubt its authenticity. Even the underscore, a brilliantly retro synth score, that memorably features Kavinksy's "Nightcall" just as we're being introduced keeps us at a certain remove, a hypnotized female voice singing "There's something inside you. It's hard to explain." Indeed.

To summarize the plot of Drive would immediately reduce it to a standard nihilistic noir or crime drama. If you must know -- though I hope you've already seen it because it's best seen cold without knowing the following details -- the driver is a stunt driver for the movies and also a mechanic and also quite willing to be your getaway for crimes. He won't ask questions and you shouldn't either. He just drives. His mechanic boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston, excellent) and his quiet neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan, excellent) and her child Benico (Kaden Leos, also excellent... you'll be sensing a trend here) are the three people in his life that he seems to care for, despite his dangerously self-possessed aura. In the course of Drive, this walking loner archetype is gradually humanized whether through narrative emotional connections or performance choices. Both the neighbor and the boss have troubled histories including people who are Trouble and the driver's very tight social circle is soon forcibly opened by crowbars, shotguns and handshakes. The cast expands to include a wealthy investor/criminal Bernie (Albert Brooks... seeking Oscar), his mouthy colleague Nino (Ron Perlman, delighted to show off) a lesser criminal Cook (James Biberi) and his associate Blanche (Christina Hendricks, memorably put-out in stilettos), and Irene's ex-con husband with the perfect name of "Standard" (Oscar Isaac, just terrific). Needless to say, shit goes down both in and out of cars. Very violent, exquisitely directed shit goes down. 

To Refn and Gosling's credit, the unknowable driver doesn't stay a mere Embodiment of Something (like, say, Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men) which helps the movie immeasurably. The few times the driver's humanity peaks through, his voice trembling, a flash of fear across his face, or even a moment of tenderness are genuinely unnerving; the untouchable man is touched. Even the stoic loner, who loves only driving and barely speaks, can't escape the violent messy pull of humanity. His choice to dehumanize again, donning the mask a second time, is a genuinely frightening image that I haven't been able to shake since seeing the movie. 

Drive is one of those movies. It makes you think in and of its images. I generally take notes when I watch films though I can't always understand them afterwards, the danger of scribbling in the dark. My notes for Drive... are strange. The standard illegible chicken scratches appear but there are also crude images scribbled in, attempts to capture the movies indelibe compositions, use of color and general mise-en-scene. (I've recreated two of them here for you since my scanner is broken).

I'm not sure why i wrote red all over this one. Stills show that it's more orange.

Drive is just one of those movies, the kind that unfold with such individuality and confidence and sense of possibility that you can almost imagine the celluloid standing up and strutting right past you, knowing full well you're going to turn and look. Yeah, I'm hot shit, it might say, if it weren't so emphatically the strong and silent type. One could argue, as I did with myself on second viewing, that the movie does boast about its own coolness in just this way and too often. If there's something to be said against Drive beyond its nasty nihilism (the extent of the violence is... uneccessary) it's just that. The movie stops in its track a few times and whether or not you're hypnotized (I was absolutely) it's clearly showing off. Let's just say that Nicolas Winding Refn is the most exciting Mad Dane to arrive in the movies since Lars von Trier... and knows it, too.

Though Drive's initial retro impression with the synth score, glistening cityscapes and practically neon hot pink titles immediately is that it's paying homage to the 1980s and Michael Mann, Drive very quickly becomes only its own memorable self. But because it's so emphatically a movie, so possessed by the motion in its pictures  --even its frozen tableaus are alive with suggested movement, promised ugly futures you fear you'll lunge towards without warning -- it can't help but recall the great tradition of cinema's coolest movies.  Leaving the movie the first time (I've already seen it twice) I thought most of Pulp Fiction. Not Pulp Fiction as we know it now -- annoyingly replicated never duplicated -- but Pulp Fiction back when it first took the world by storm; they aren't much alike but for that blast of intoxicating fresh air in the theater. A/A-

Recommended Further Reading
The Film Experience - "People Will Love It Ten Years From Now"
Nick's Flick Picks - a coiled python
Serious Film -"atmosphere. neon glow and moments that hang in the air..."
My New Plaid Pants "Chrissy Hendricks, Stiletto Wobbler
In Contention "the finest layer of B-movie grime that time and money can buy

Have you seen Drive? If so do sound off in the comments. 

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