Lars and the Real Girl

( 27 )

Overview

Lars Ryan Gosling and Gus Paul Schneider are the grown children of a father who died recently and a mother who died giving birth to Lars. But as brothers, they couldn't be more different. While Gus lives in the family home and has a loving wife Emily Mortimer and a child on the way, Lars leads a more reclusive existence in the family's garage, hiding in plain sight of his small, wintry hometown. Painfully shy and eccentric, Lars fails to recognize that his co-worker Margo Kelli Garner has a major crush on him, ...
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Overview

Lars Ryan Gosling and Gus Paul Schneider are the grown children of a father who died recently and a mother who died giving birth to Lars. But as brothers, they couldn't be more different. While Gus lives in the family home and has a loving wife Emily Mortimer and a child on the way, Lars leads a more reclusive existence in the family's garage, hiding in plain sight of his small, wintry hometown. Painfully shy and eccentric, Lars fails to recognize that his co-worker Margo Kelli Garner has a major crush on him, and he picks up on a casual reference made by his cubicle mate, who mentions a website where you can order life-sized, anatomically correct sex dolls. But instead of seeing a sex object, Lars sees in this doll a potential life partner and the only kind of social "peer" he can relate to. So Lars orders a doll, whom he names Bianca, and begins treating her with utmost gentlemanly respect -- and as though she's his real-life, flesh-and-blood girlfriend. As he begins bringing Bianca with him everywhere he goes, the townspeople have to find just the right balance between supporting Lars' unusual romance and trying to introduce him to a more conventional partner. Lars and the Real Girl was written by Six Feet Under scribe Nancy Oliver and directed by Mr. Woodcock's Craig Gillespie. ~ Derek Armstrong
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Special Features

The real story of Lars and the Real Girl featurette ; A real leading lady featurette; Deleted scenes ; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Lars and the Real Girl was a breakout hit -- especially surprising given the offbeat and potentially perverse storyline, which figured to shrink an already small indie film audience. But even as it was loved by many viewers, Craig Gillespie's film polarized critics, some of whom found only artifice and preciousness in the film's small-town, snow-covered eccentricities. All audiences should agree it has issues in the credibility department -- either intentional, in the form of magic realism, or unintentional, by way of misbegotten plotting. There's an inescapable manufactured quality to the scenario: a shy twentysomething buys a sex doll online, and then treats it as a sentient being with feelings and emotions. Even if you argue that Ryan Gosling's Lars is attributing a flesh-and-blood existence to an object he knows is synthetic, that only calls into question the validity of the film's several emotional and emotionally manipulative climaxes. So either Lars is rather seriously mentally disturbed, or he and the rest of the townspeople, who unfailingly support him, are engaged in an elaborate exercise in conscious self-deception. The movie's fans agreed that the ends justify the means, as Lars is allowed to heal according to his own time frame, under the watchful care of a loving extended family. For these fans, this was the very affirmation of life they demand from the movies. Gosling's performance is both sweet and inscrutable, full of tics that are sometimes maddening. It's not his best work, but it may have been his best known at the time -- quite a statement for a film about a boy and his sex doll. Along those lines, it's an indisputably shrewd accomplishment that Lars fought from the fringes of narrative filmmaking into the hearts of the mainstream. The cynics and optimists may never agree on it, but Lars and the Real Girl at least helps its viewers determine which group they belong in.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2011
  • UPC: 883904233381
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 3,422

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ryan Gosling Lars
Emily Mortimer Karin
Paul Schneider Gus
Patricia Clarkson Dagmar
Kelli Garner Margo
Nancy Beatty Mrs. Gruner
Karen Robinson Cindy
R.D. Reid Reverend Bock
Doug Lennox Mr. Hofstedtler
Joe Bostick Mr. Shaw
Nicky Guadagni Mrs. Petersen
Maxwell McCabe-Lokos Kurt
Billy Parrott Enk
Sally Cahill Deb
Angela Vint Sandy
Liisa Repo-Martell Laurel
Boyd Banks Russell
Darren Hynes Moose
Tommy Chang Nelson
Arnold Pinnock Baxter
Joshua Peace Jerry
Tannis Burnett Nurse Amy
Lindsey Connell Victoria
Technical Credits
Craig Gillespie Director
Spring Aspers Musical Direction/Supervision
Sarah Aubrey Producer
Peter Berg Executive Producer
Whitney Brown Production Manager
John Cameron Producer
Joshu de Cartier Art Director
Gerri Gillan Costumes/Costume Designer
T. Arv Grewal Production Designer
Richard Hicks Casting
Libby Hodgson Asst. Director
William Horberg Executive Producer
Sidney Kimmel Producer
Adam Kimmel Cinematographer
Kirston Leigh Mann Costumes/Costume Designer
Nancy Oliver Screenwriter
Tatiana S. Riegel Editor
David Rubin Casting
Bruce Toll Executive Producer
David Torn Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Liked it

    This is such a great, heartwarming movie. I really enjoyed it. It is about Lars, a lonely, withdrawn guy, who after a tough childhood, lives in the garage of his brother`s family. Despite efforts to include him in the family, Lars prefers being alone, and is very awkward in most social situations, despite surrounded by well-meaning family and co-workers.
    Lars orders a doll on the internet, which he names Bianca and treats her as if she was a real person.The psychiatrist his family takes him too suggests that the whole town should play along with him, because Bianca is his bridge to real life, and there is some trauma that Lars can only work out this way.
    So reluctantly, they all play along, which results in funny situations, and Bianca changes their, and Lars` life in so many ways.
    Ryan Gosling once again proves what a brilliant actor he is and this is such a good, underappreciated movie. Watch it, if you get a chance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    What a Refreshingly Different Comedy!

    So much modern comedy is flat, slapstick and predictable. Lars and the Real Girl is now one of my all-time favorites! The story line is so imaginative, the characters so warm and funny and the acting superb. I've leant my copy to many friends and they usually rave about how great it was! If you liked Napoleon Dynamite, you'll love this movie!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Unexpected Treasure

    This movie is not at all what I thought it was going to be. It was a heartwarming story of appearance vs. reality, love and loss, and the unfortunate result of corruption of innocence. Ryan Gosling gave an impressive performance, including subtle character traits that mirrored his character's internal affliction. Although the ending left me wanting more, it did leave a lasting hope for all who have had to overcome the piercing pain of their past.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Get past the unfortunate "sales pitch". It will be well worth the effort.

    The idea of this film can easily make one hesitate. Don't. This is an incredibly crafted film about one person's pain and a community's ability to rise above the cliche' and support him until he is able to find his way. The message has a great deal to do with what small towns and good people are "all about".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Were anyone to suggest that a 'romance' between a guy and a blowup doll could become one of the more sensitive films of the year, it would be cause for derision - that is, before viewing LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. The improbable story was written by Nancy Oliver (the writer of many episodes of the TV series 'Six Feet Under') and directed by Craig Gillespie who gathered a particularly strong cast of actors to present this examination of compassion and love for an emotionally injured young man by small town folks, reminding us that caring for each other is still a highly regarded value. Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling) survived a tough childhood only to become a loner terrified of emotional and tactile contact. He lives in the garage of his deceased parents' home while his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and pregnant sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) live in the main house. Despite Karin's pleadings to be part of the family, Lars prefers to keep to himself. At his job his co-workers include Margo (Kelli Garner), who is more than a little attracted to the quiet and strangely distant Lars, and a fellow who finds ' life-size love dolls' on the internet. Lars orders one of the dolls and when 'Bianca' arrives, Lars finally has a girlfriend to share his loneliness. He introduces Bianca to Gus and Karin who find the situation strange, but at the same time see the happiness in Lars that has been missing. They encourage Lars and Bianca to see a doctor Margo (Patricia Clarkson) who plays along with the concept that Lars finds Bianca real, and encourages Gus and Karin to be supportive. As it ends up the entire little town accepts Bianca and she is introduced to doing good deeds and be a vital part of the town, all through the kindness of people who love the 'delusional' Lars and care only for his happiness. How Lars gradually finds his way into the real world and copes with the understanding of his need for Bianca, the story comes to a tender ending, one that never for a moment feels like a sellout but maintains the dignity of all of the characters in the story. This is a fine and thoughtful exploration of the needs we all have for understanding, compassion, and acceptance, and while there are some very humorous moments in this well-written story, the overall message is one of gentle love. Ryan Gosling is so fine an actor that he makes this rather complex character understandable and gains our empathy. The supporting cast is equally excellent - especially Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider. Highly recommended viewing, this is a DVD many will want to own for repeated viewings. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Real girls and real love

    I expected this to be more of a comedy, and while funny at times, it was full of sincerity and kindness and felt truly endearing. In a time of movies like "Superbad" all about 'dudes getting laid', it was sweet to see a sex doll used for companionship and bonding. Worth a watch or two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Delightful and moving film!

    I am a huge fan of Ryan Gosling so I was very excited about seeing this. Lars is so painfully shy but sweet. I love the way the town bands together to protect him (from reality) and help him since, of course, his girlfriend is not real, but a coping tool. The movie was not entirely what I expected and I loved it for that. I hope it gets more viewings on DVD than it did in the theatres.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I left work early to see it.

    Although reminscent of a modern day fairy tale, it was believeable. The townspeople were charming and embraced his "real girl" with ferver. I laughed and misted. Maybe I can find a "real boy" on-line.

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted May 27, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted November 28, 2010

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    Posted December 1, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews