Lars and the Real Girl 2007

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Offbeat comedy starring Ryan Gosling as Lars Lindstrom, a painfully shy man who begins a relationship with a life-sized doll named Bianca, treating it as a real live woman. When Lars introduces Bianca to his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and his sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer), they initially think Lars has lost his mind. However, since Lars finally appears to be emerging from his shell, the family doctor (Patricia Clarkson) encourages Gus and Karin to play along with Lars's delusion. As he begins bringing Bianca with him everywhere he goes, the townspeople must attempt to find the right balance between supporting Lars's unorthodox relationship and trying to make him accept his feelings for his real-life co-worker, Margo (Kelli Garner).

Starring:
Nancy Beatty, Kelli Garner
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 46 minutes
Starring Nancy Beatty, Kelli Garner, Paul Schneider, Ryan Gosling, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer
Director Craig Gillespie
Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Studio MGM ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 21 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
The premise sounds a trifle creepy, but in practise it's beautiful. A man so shy he is virtually a recluse, so shy contact with others physically hurts him, orders a "real doll" and develops a relationship with it. The automatic assumption being he buys it in order to have sex with, but hat couldn't be further from his mind. Lars (Gosling) has the innocence of a child, and the kindness of one, along with the social acumen of one, and through Bianca (Doll) he learns to deal with people and to conquer his self-imposed loneliness; he uses the doll to exorcise all his social demons and fears. He was a man being suffocated by his own fear and pathology and his relationship with the doll isn't sexual or weird: it's catharsis.

He lives in a small town, where the minds should be just as small. But it's a social idyll, and it's a joy to watch. The entire town take Bianca under their wing. It's a process, naturally. Their initial reactions range from derision to horror, but the goodness of Lars is matched in the goodness of the town-folk. Their kindness and acceptance allows Lars the time he needs to heal himself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We see him evolve from scared child unable to be with people to grown man who is ready for a real relationship.

Gosling's performance is beautifully understated. It has depth, nuance and genuine pathos. You'll grow to care for him very much, and when he suffers, you'll suffer with him. Another actor who deserves a nod is Patricia Clarkson as Doctor Dagmar. Her warmth and integrity make you want to lean on her shoulder and open your soul. Next to Bianca and Lars' brother and sister-in-law, Dagmar is the person who is most important in Lars' getting well. Her role is pivotal, and Clarkson's performance is wonderful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr Blonde on 31 Dec 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many films attempt to deal with characters with mental health issues. Sadly, these are either horrors presenting mental health as an excuse to kill scantily clad teenagers or cheap, patronizing, made for t.v. movies designed to make you cry. And lets not forget the type of movies Robert Downey Jr talks about in Tropic Thunder.

This is NOT that kind of movie. The script, director and Ryan Gosling's performance all combine to create a film about a character dealing with mental health issues in a mature, non-patronizing, believable way. There is lots of comedy in this movie but it is never directly aimed at the protagonists delusional condition.
I can not recommend this film highly enough, every aspect of it is worthy of five stars. Amazing performances from Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider but Gosling gives an epic performance full of emotion and subtlety in a very difficult role. It is directed very well, moving at just the right pace and the director realizing he doesn't need to show off.
Soundtrack, set design, costume, lighting, everything is perfect.

This is an essential film for everyone to see and I would especially recommend it to anyone with an interest in psychology or mental health.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard Jagdhar on 6 Feb 2009
Format: DVD
The story is about Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling), a quiet, shy and mentally disorientated guy, who begins to carry out a relationship with a mail-order doll called Bianca. OK sounds a little smutty, but Lars, being a church going, polite kind of a person really believes this mannequin woman to be real.

Now this becomes a shock to his brother Gus (Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law Karin (Emily Mortimer) who initially think that Lars is dating someone, and becoming more social, but to their surprise they discover themselves having dinner with a mannequin for who Lars speaks to and also, speaks for. There in itself wraps up a comedy sketch in itself, but after careful consultation with a psychiatrist, she diagnoses that Lars has created this delusional silicone dummy relationship to deal with a number of personal issues and if they really love him (which they do), they must play along with this.

So they do, and things start to get to the stage where they tell their friends, their church and before you know it the whole town is on it and starts treating Bianca as a real person in an effort to help Lars through this ordeal, even to the extent of giving her a job.

It all sounds kind of stupid, but there is a real sense of camaraderie, love and support which shines through as Lars has to come to terms with his world.

A heart-warming light comedy that doesn't lend itself to violence or SFX, and shows you that the simplest of films can be worth watching.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Carriline on 21 Nov 2011
Format: DVD
Firstly hi i am indeed a teenage boy(17) and not really a fan of anything with lots of romance, but this film is different. I have to say that the film touched my heart and i found it amazing to watch. This film has comedy, heart and quirkyness. I have to say this is a must see as it kept me captivated through the entire film and it's finally actually made me shed a tear or two. I will say though that not all teenage boys will like it but if they have good taste in movies then i highly recommend it for a present
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. LM Rowsell on 28 Jun 2009
Format: DVD
On the offset the film sounds as if it belongs on the top shelf of a seedy porno shop. However this film comes with a 12 certificate, so don't expect any scenes of a sexual nature. There is one hilarious scene though where Karin's curiosity gets the better of her, as she wants to see what exactly is under Bianca's dress. That scene alone is worth getting hold of this film.

Lars and the Real Girl is Director Craig Gillespie's, and writer Nancy Oliver's first film project. If this film is a sign of things to come, then I shall one will be keeping an eye out for future projects of theirs.

The film covers so many issues from relationships, to mental illness, to religious tolerance, and each one is dealt with in a sensitive manner. While we currently live in such broken society, this film is a reminder of how we should be living.
While neither of them in no way mocks people with a mental illness, there are many lighter moments in the film that will have you in stitches. While many would have struggled to get the balance just right, this film is prove that it can be done .

Yet again Ryan Gosling puts it a truly believable, and heart warming performance as the dysfunctional Lars. Throughout the film I just wanted to hug him, and routed for him just hoping that at the end he would be a more confident person. Don't miss this opportunity to hear Gosling sing, it's a performance and a half to say the least.
The supporting cast equally put in top notch performances, each of them making their characters someone we can all relate to. Paul Schneider who played Lars's older brother was the one I could relate to the most, as like him I'd find it hard to pretend that everything was normal, while at the same time wanting to help.
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