Tag Archive | ryan gosling

Review: The Ides of March

The Ides of March is a sexy political thriller that sees two of Hollywood’s hottest actors – Ryan Gosling and George Clooney – seriously impress in their very different roles.

Clooney plays democrat Mike Morris who is bidding for power in the presidential elections. Gosling plays his adoring press spokesman, Stephen Myers, a sharp-witted young shot who believes in Morris and the campaign. The team is headed up by Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Throughout the campaign Gosling’s character finds himself interacting with the opposition – much to the disappointment of his colleagues. What ensues is a story of corruption, deceit, suspicion and betrayal as everyone competes for power and media approval.

The cinematography throughout the movie is very clever and some of the shots are just plain pretty. The first scene sees Gosling’s character walking onto an empty stage to practice an election speech. The room is dark and eery and all you can hear is the static of the microphone and Gosling’s heavy breathing. It sets the tone for the movie well – the rest of the story is quite tense and unpredictable.

Clooney, although one of the main characters, unfortunately doesn’t get much screen time. When he does appear he gives his usual charasmatic performance but he needs a bit more of a role in order to make a real impact. Seymour Hoffman is fantastic as the campaign manager although we have to admit we miss his funny appearances in films like Along Came Polly.

The biggest star of the show is undoubtedly Gosling. He has exploded onto our screens recently and for good reason. He takes control of every scene he is in and you can’t help but navigate towards him when he speaks. The character is someone easy to relate to – he wants to make an impression but he also wants to do the right thing. This is of course sometimes difficult in politics and this is what the film displays best. It gives a real insight into the world of politics – where image and values are paramount.

The twists and turns throughout the film are really interesting and definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re even slightly interested in politics and its psychology then this is a definite must see.

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Ryan Gosling – Only God Forgives

The first snap of Ryan Gosling in his new film, Only God Forgives, was released earlier today.

The new Nicolas Winding Refn movie follows Gosling’s character, Julian, as he runs a Bangkok boxing club. The last time Gosling and Refn hooked up was on the fantastically dramatic Drive. That was a treat on the eyes so surely this film will be too? What do you think? Let us know below

 

Review: Crazy Stupid Love

Looking at the title it’s easy to judge Crazy Stupid Love as ‘just another rom com’. But Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have broken the traditional rom com mould and produced something that’s both entertaining and complex.

The script tackles some interesting complexities – mainly family relationships and generational interaction.

Steve Carell plays Cal, a middle aged man struggling to come to terms with the dissolution of his marriage. After finding out his wife (Julianne Moore) has cheated on him he takes to roaming bars and nightclubs in a bid to meet women and prepare for his impending divorce. It’s here that he bumps into womaniser Jacob (Ryan Gosling) who – although half his age – takes Cal under his wing and teaches him how to woo women. Cue some hilarious and slightly uncomfortable pick-up scenes.

Carell is brilliant as Cal. Although he seems to play the same character in every movie he is in his awkwardness and funny one liners fit perfectly with this role. Cal is what most men in his position would be – unsure of how to approach the opposite sex after spending the past 25 years with the same woman and watching him try out pick-up lines is cringe worthy to say the least. He is so relateable though – it’s this that makes the film such a good watch.

Gosling plays slick ladies-man Jacob superbly. His arrogance is ultimately irritating but it’s the character layers that are most enjoyable, if not a tad predictable. Once Jacob has a bit of screen time we begin to see his confident exterior melt, mainly due to Hannah (played by Emma Stone). The on-screen chemistry of this pairing is subtle and addictive. In some ways it’s a bit dissapointing that they don’t get more screen time. We could have quite happily watched an entire film based on their relationship.

The addition of Kevin Bacon is a treat. He plays ‘the other man’ and has some funny scenes, including an interrogation by Cal’s angry teenage son.

Although we doubt this movie will win any prizes for  innovation, it does capture the essence of relationships extremely well. Every character has some interaction and some of the twists along the way are totally unexpected. An easy and enjoyable watch.

Review: Drive

Drive is undeniably slick – boasting fantastic performances from everyone involved and fusing together beautifully shot scenes with bundles of action.

Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman who, in his spare time, works as a getaway driver – wheeling crooks and thieves around the city. His rule is simple: “If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes, then I’m yours, no matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you’re on your own.”  It’s repeated throughout the film and is a stark display of this character’s poise and control.

Gosling’s character (known only as ‘Kid’) sparks up an unlikely friendship with his next-door neighbour Irene, played by Carey Mulligan, and her young son. Becoming emotionally involved with the family he takes it upon himself to do a driving job to help Irene’s crook of a husband who has become mixed up with a local mob. Suffice to say the heist does not go to plan and carnage ensues throughout the rest of the movie.

Gosling is superb as the driver. Although he has exploded onto cinema screens recently it’s rare to see him play a character with so much sinister stillness. His soft rom-com roles like The Notebook suddenly seem very far away. It’s an unforgettable performance – his character barely mumbles a few words throughout the 100 minutes of action yet controls the screen with his posture, eye contact and presence. But the flip is suddenly switched half way through the movie, when Gosling’s character unleashes an unexpected violent side. The violence is handled well – albeit a tad graphic at times –  and is delivered with as much shock as his character’s punch.

Director Nicolas Winding Refn should be applauded for not only his clever casting but his overall direction. The romantic scenes (which unfortunately never quite get going), the punch-ups and race shots are all handled with the same composure and colour. The movie, at times, has a feeling of a rather glamourised version of Lock Stock – memorable and sure to be a classic.

The mob characters, played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman, are both intimidating and frustrating to watch. It only takes a few minutes for you to be engrossed in Gosling’s story and in supporting him take down the baddies.

All in all Drive is a charismatic watch. Yes the violence scenes are a bit graphic (the lift scene is particularly hard to watch) and the switch in Gosling’s character from ‘composed to manic’ is quite tough to take at times. But Drive is a powerful journey and one that will be difficult to rival, for a while.

Review: Blue Valentine

Although at its core Blue Valentine is actually quite a depressing film, it’s tinged with realism and it’s so addictive – anyone who watches it will no doubt re-visit it over and over again.

Director Derek Cianfrance brings such compassion and beauty to the screen – mainly by the clever on-screen positioning of the central characters. Their love story is brutally examined for all to see.

Blue Valentine centres around a modern day couple, Dean and Cindy, and explores their courtship and subsequent marriage. With scenes flickering between the past and present, the film focuses on the experience of falling in love and the tragedy of falling out of it.

Dean is in his early twenties and working for a removal company when he bumps into Cindy – an aspiring medical student. The pair quickly fall in love and begin a relationship. Cindy’s past with high-school jock Bobby catches up with them though and she finds out she is pregnant. Loyal Dean declares his love for Cindy and promises to stay by her side. The couple end up marrying and it’s their struggling marriage (6 years later) that we see as the present day.

The flashback scenes are intricate and the performances from both Ryan Gosling (Dean) and Michelle Williams (Cindy) are outstanding. Stand out scenes include their first date where Dean serenades Cindy with a Ukulele and his rendition of You Always Hurt The One You Love (this is so poignant and is undeniably linked to their present). The bus ride scene where Dean suggests they ‘become a family’ is also beautiful to watch – we defy any cynic that says they are not affected by their emotional performance and youthful optimism.

Flash forward to the present day and things are harshly different. Dean is sporting a receding hair line and is contently plodding along in a painting and decorating job. Cindy, stifled by her marriage, is working as a nurse but can’t help wanting to progress to the next level – something that her marriage seems to be in the way of.

It’s so evident that Gosling and Williams spent a month living together before the making of this movie. Their arguments are so real – everything about them screams married couple.

Although the flashback scenes fill you with hope for the couple, the relationship seems doomed. Both Dean and Cindy come from dysfunctional families and the cracks in their relationship are always on show. Dean is happy to stay in his dead-end job and is frustrated with Cindy’s nagging; Cindy can’t stop nagging at Dean’s lack of enthusiasm and waste of potential.

If you’re one of those people that looks for a significant message to a film you might be disappointed with Blue Valentine. Their really isn’t much of a moral – it’s more an exploration of human relationships and how love can blossom and, sadly, how it can dissolve.

If you don’t strain too much on the message and just enjoy the story and the characters then Blue Valentine will no doubt make it into your DVD collection.

5 Best On-Screen Snaps of Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling has been dominating our screens of late. Blue Valentine, Drive, Crazy Stupid Love…the list continues.  So, in tribute to the actor, here’s a compilation of some of his best moments on-screen.

THAT scene in The Notebook

Blue Valentine

Drive

Crazy Stupid Love (in his pants)

Upcoming movie Gangster Squad – look at that dog!

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