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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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There is no other film quite like this! A man, painfully shy, orders a sex doll with whom he believes he has an actual relationship, and other people actually humour him in his delusion in order to help him. But the effect is somehow very innocent - his behaviour towards 'Bianca' is completely chaste - she sleeps in his brother's house, for instance, and the whole thing has a most bizarre humour that it very well sustained throughout. In the end it is actually very moving, although this may seem impossible from the plot outline! It has something of the feel of a Frank Capra film, in that it is very much about community and support, and it has a very strong lead in Ryan Gosling, without whom, quite simply, it would have been a different film altogether. He is brilliantly supported by Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider and Patricia Clarkson, who manages to get so much humour into her psychiatric sessions with him, with an undercurrent of compassion and sadness that is very subtly glanced off in the script. It works interestingly that everyone is having to 'act' in his presence, without being actors, so you can feel the incongruity. Lars doesn't notice this, but he is very troubled. The film is a bit like a fairy-tale in a snowy setting, and really I am very glad to have encountered it again.
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on 31 December 2011
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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on 29 May 2017
A fine film , safely delivered . Thank you .
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on 7 January 2013
This is a gem of a DVD. It is a lovely story even though it has been developed from the desperation of a very lost and lonely man. There is no nastiness or meanness which makes a pleasant change. A lovely little heart warmer about accepting people for who they are. The acting is wonderful, loved it
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on 6 September 2017
Excellent film and an early indication of a great career ahead for Gosling.
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on 12 March 2017
Fantastic story.
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on 13 April 2017
I love this film. So touching
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on 5 April 2017
An off beat film but well worth the watch.
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on 21 November 2011
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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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.

People who require big final twists in their films will find this desperately ploddy and slow. This was never going to be a Hollywood blockbuster. It's a beautifully observed, and psychologically fascinating, homage to the nature of humanity, and to the fundamental goodness in us. There isn't a single dirty joke; no semen being spat into drinks; no having sex with puddings and no smutty allusions as to what's under Bianca's dress.

Lars and the Real Girl is gentle, warm and utterly, utterly charming.
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