Lars and the Real Girl (2007, Craig Gillespie)

As Katy says, just because it has a comic premise doesn’t mean it’s a comedy. No real jokes or laughs, at least not at our house. Pretty good movie, light entertainment with better acting than anything else (writing, camera work, etc). Blends a mental-illness drama with a small-town feel-good movie. Very little conflict… two times someone makes fun of the “real girl” or tells Lars it’s just a doll, and he pretends not to hear them. Brother and brother’s wife play along, whole town and psychologist play along, finally Lars has the girl get “sick” and “die” and then he meets an actual real girl and they go for a walk.

Producer John Cameron (no Mitchell) has worked on most Coen movies since Fargo, and also Rushmore. Oscar-nom writer Nancy Oliver worked on Six Feet Under. And our director also made the Billy Bob Thornton movie Mr. Woodcock, which I’m starting to suspect is also not a comedy. Cinematographer (also did Capote and Jesus’ Son) gives us basic, uncluttered compositions and moves subtly to handheld camera whenever there’s tension in a scene.

I liked the line when someone gives flowers to “Bianca” and Lars leans over and tells her it’s nice that they’re fake because they’ll never die. But one great line does not a best-writing oscar-nom make.

Lars: Ryan Gosling from the Half-Nelson movie I didn’t see. His brother: Paul Schneider from the Assassination of Jesse James movie I didn’t see. Brother’s wife: Emily Mortimer played Rufus Sewell’s girlfriend in the worst segment of Paris je t’aime (the one at Oscar Wilde’s grave). Lars’s co-worker and living love interest: Kelli Garner from starmaker film Bully, also in The Aviator. And the psychologist: Patricia Clarkson played leads in The Pledge and Station Agent, also in Far From Heaven and Dogville.

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