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Lars and the Real Girl ***
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Rossiter Drake*



Feature Presentation: The story, about a young man whose self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world leads him to seek romance in the arms of a mail-order silicone doll, may sound intolerably precious, but Lars and the Real Girl is disarmingly sweet and quietly affecting. Ryan Gosling, as Lars, gives a performance of subtle persuasiveness – his awkward, jittery body language and agonized grimaces speaking eloquently to the pain that lends the film much-needed gravitas. Without him, Lars might have seemed too blatantly whimsical; instead, it strikes a tone that makes the unbelievable somehow believable, providing a strange but moving affirmation of hope.

Bonus Features: Brief featurettes about the cast and the film’s semi-lifelike leading lady (“She doesn’t throw hissy fits and demand things!” notes co-star Emily Mortimer) are pleasant enough, but the inclusion of just a single deleted scene and a conspicuous absence of commentary tracks seem less than generous.

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