Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Year of Ryan Gosling

This week cinema goers have the choice of two Ryan Gosling films to view if they wish; in Drive Gosling plays a Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a getaway driver for a dangerous heist, and in Crazy, Stupid, Love he helps Steve Carell rediscover his self worth post-divorce. Both films have impressive star studded casts but it's Mr. Gosling that people are really interested in right now, why is this?

Audiences mainly know Gosling as "that guy from The Notebook" and while this was his breakout hit he has since chosen difficult and obscure projects only rarely dipping his toe in the mainstream. Although making a few more conventional films in thrillers such as Stay (2005), Fracture (2007), and All Good Things (2010) these were hardly big draws for audiences and neither were they trying to be. Gosling's career is filled almost entirely of indie flicks such as Half Nelson (2006) a drama centring on an inner city school teacher battling a severe drug problem, Lars and the Real Girl (2007) the extremely unconventional story of a delusional young man's relationship with a blow-up love doll, and more recently he starred along side Michelle Williams in the intimidatingly frank portrayal of love that was Blue Valentine (2010). Not since The Notebook has Gosling been in a film as digestible as Crazy, Stupid, Love which seems set to be a big success for all the right reasons. With two films out now and another coming out October (George Clooney's moral tale of politics in The Ides of March) is Gosling coming dangerously close to over exposure? I for one am not worried for his future, I trust his integrity and if his upcoming projects are anything to go by my trust is well placed. Re-teaming with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance for crime thriller The Place Beyond the Pines and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn for Only God Forgives, a tale of rivalry between a police officer and a gangster as they enter a Thai boxing match. Not surprising is another collaboration between Gosling and Refn as the director recently stated that, "The thing with Ryan, you can look at him for hours. Very few actors have that. It's a gift".

So will audiences soon get tired of looking at Ryan Gosling in the near future? I seriously doubt it, why should they? Ryan Gosling is an actor of extreme talent who sits nicely on the fence between hard-edged indie and accessible mainstream entertainment, whatever side he chooses to place himself with each project he always delivers and showcases a unique unrivalled screen presence, he's hardly a consistent workaholic either as he's shown he can take up to 3 years between projects. Rather worrying about overexposure we should instead be grateful for an actor with this much potential to continuously receive such interesting work, work that graces our screens in an era of producers and screenwriters unwilling or unable to take risks.

This Friday I will finally get round to seeing Drive, a film i've heard contains gut-wrenching violence, harks back to the genre flicks of the 70s and 80s and re-evaluates the relationship between man and motor as existential marriage. Can't wait. Review up soon.

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