Ryan Gosling

Posted on ONTD, pics of Ryan Gosling with his face all beat up. Synopsis:

Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian killed a cop and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty.

When Julian’s brother murders a prostitute the police call on retired cop Chang – the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, then ‘restores order’ by chopping off the man’s right hand.

Julian’s mother Jenna – the head of a powerful criminal organization – arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and ‘raise hell’.

Increasingly obsessed with the Angel of Vengeance, Julian challenges him to a boxing match, hoping that by defeating him he might find spiritual release… but Chang triumphs. A furious Jenna plots revenge and the stage is set for a bloody journey through betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.

Three more.

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BuzzFeed rallied dozens of Ryan Gosling fans today to protest in front of People Magazine headquarters for picking Bradley Cooper as the sexiest man alive.

(Stephen Colbert recalls that Nick Nolte was People Magazine’s 1992 Sexiest Man Alive. A sobering reminder.)

Scenes from the protest after the cut.

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Just posted pics on JustJared of Ryan Gosling all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Gangster Squad is “A chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.”  Pic also stars Emma Stone, his Crazy Stupid Love co-star.

Why does it seem like the beginning of October is already too late to push through an Oscar contender?  If you’re a big star in a big movie you’re already on the radar of those who write about Oscar buzz, a thing that increasingly has no there to it.  But if you’ve just given the performance of your life in a movie nobody has seen how does your publicist get enough people to see your performance to find a spot for you in the already crowded acting or Best Picture categories?

This moment in the Oscar race is what I always think of as the Million Dollar Baby zone.  Clint Eastwood brought that film in at a time when there were less media outlets focused on the race, as many of them are now, and when those of us who were focused on the race – it was like me, David Poland, Tom O’Neil and Kris Tapley and a few others – had our radars tuned to The Aviator, which seemed, at the time, like it might finally be Martin Scorsese’s big Oscar win (he would later go on to win big with The Departed, nothing less than one of the best films ever to win the award).  But then people saw Million Dollar Baby. I’ll never forget reading Poland’s site the day after that screening — there was simply no question what movie was going to win and win big.

What I now wonder looking back at those seemingly innocent times, with all of the chatter we have now, so many hunters stalking Oscar prey, where the demand far exceeds the supply, would we have already been well aware that Million Dollar Baby would have been the big Oscar winner? Would it be showing up on Oscar charts as the de facto frontrunner? So much has changed since then.

Either way, and for whatever reason, after Toronto it always feels like the window of opportunity to break through gets smaller and smaller as the days go by.  If you’re not considered a major contender already, by October, your chances are slim.  But they’re not zero.  Late entries can sometimes shake up the race, like The Reader did when it bumped The Dark Knight, altering Oscar history while doing so.

On today’s Off the Carpet column, Kris Tapley looks at the Best Actor race, but specifically at those performances that could be overlooked.  I had no idea he was writing this, and I was writing a similar piece at the same time (great minds…) only mine covers Best Picture and Actress too (albeit not as thoroughly as Kris…).  So you want to head over there to In Contention to read that piece.  

Oscar buzz is now and has always been something undefinable – it’s like sexual attraction: you know it when you feel it.

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The other day, several bloggers were invited to a Ryan Gosling roundtable at the Four Seasons (audio of the interview at the end of this post).  The junket took up a giant suite which had the lovely publicists in one room, with a giant flat screen TV with Drive clips playing on it, and a whole room devoted to beverages.  Deeper inside was the lunch area.  Sandwiches, shrimp salad and little fudgy squares were there for hungry people kept waiting about twenty minutes for some time with Mr. Gosling.

As we waited in the front room I got to listen like a fly on the wall to the bloggers I didn’t know.  One held a Canon camera and was waiting to snap a few photos of Mr. Gosling, if given the opportunity. But bringing a camera to these things is always risky – no studio wants to be responsible for some non-approved weird shot of their star.  So usually you aren’t allowed to photograph them unless they’re at a photocall, on the red carpet or out on the street.  It’s considered rude to even ask but most of us will ask anyway.  It doesn’t matter much as one look at Gosling and you never forget it.  I was part of a roundtable in Cannes with Gosling and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine and you are immediately struck by the light blue of his eyes.  Every writing class in the world tells you not to describe blue using the sky but with Gosling there isn’t any other blue that can compare with it – and they’re like an Oklahoma sky.  Gosling has, as David Byrne would say, a face with a view.  It takes you a few minutes to work your way down from his eyes to his neck and then shoulders. Yes, to interview Ryan Gosling is to be physically uncomfortable for a few hours.

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Best Actor this year feels to be more of the hopeful variety, less dark, more optimistic and heroic.  This is certainly true of the category’s frontrunner of the moment, George Clooney, who takes things to a different level with his portrayal of a newly single dad trying to keep his family together in the wake of a tragedy in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.  It is most certainly true of The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, who may finish out as the year’s most endearing.  Ryan Gosling in Drive, Tom Hardy in Warrior are also heroic but they are more complex.

One cannot help notice how, erm, hot and beefcakey this year’s potential lineup is either.  Not to be crass but seriously, dude.  Cold shower time.  I’m thinking that this alone could boost ratings.

There are some outside possibilities right now, and with Toronto a heartbeat away who knows what other names might pop up. Let’s run them down so far:

1. George Clooney, The Descendants
Despite the raves Clooney got for Up in the Air, The Descendants shows that Clooney can do more than just be the charming, somewhat and occasionally confused ladies man, and/or lovable goofball, and/or quirky sidekick. He’s actually finally been a role where he has to play a genuine human being – a father and a husband whose own emotions are on full display. There is no hiding from pain. All at once, Clooney’s character deals with parental responsibility, the loss of a spouse and betrayal. There is a scene towards the end of the film that will go down in film history as one of the most moving. In truth, I did not ever expect Clooney would ever be able to expose himself this way. After all, he’s the cool cat who dumps women as soon as they want something more than just being his girlfriend. He’s the guy who always makes jokes at press conferences. He’s not the guy who bares his heart and soul. But in this film, he does it. It’s hard to talk about without A) overhyping, or B) spoiling the movie. To my mind, right now, Clooney is in the frontrunner’s spot for the win.

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Singer/songwriter Rain Perry (and good friend of mine going back several decades) has written up what I think is a good review of Crazy Stupid Love. You can read more about Rain on her site.

Okay, so it was clearly going to be a silly romantic comedy, but Crazy, Stupid, Love. seemed different enough – and not just for its unusually punctuated title – from the recent string of indistinguishable semi-raunchy wedding-related films in the Heigl/Bateman/Aniston/Kutcher oeuvre that I actually went and saw it.

Well, I loved it. I mean I really loved it. Why did I love it so much?

Okay, well, yes.

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A 50-50 proposition we can all get behind. Could the man behind the man be the man behind the curtain? Check out 8 new stills after the cut.

UPDATE: full-size portrait format US poster added.

(thanks Monica!)

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Because he has an Oscar story. And because it’s Ryan Gosling.

The wait just got 2 days shorter for everyone eager to see Blue Valentine. Weinstein Co. has decided to slide the premiere date to December 29 to get a jump on New Years holiday couples. Deadline says it’s still just one theater per coast, in NY and LA, expanding to 10 screens on January 7, 2011. (One of our first looks at Blue Valentine came in this Sundance clip, from January 26th — 2010).

We ran THR’s actress roundtable a month ago, so here’s the actors session for completionists. (thanks Clayton)

For convenient access, I’ll repost the Actress roundtable after the cut.

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The women have all of the heat this year, thanks to a handful of bravura performances at the hands of gifted, courageous filmmakers like Lisa Cholodenko, Darren Aronofsky, Debra Granik, John Cameron Mitchell, Doug Liman, Derek Cianfrance, Mike Leigh – these directors have given women some great incarnations. We can talk about the lack of diversity overall in this year’s Oscar race (which hasn’t officially begun, it’s also worth saying) in the acting categories, though that ground has been covered already and there isn’t anything that will change it in the immediate future. Perhaps it is a discussion for a different time. It’s now time to turn our focus on the men who have stood out all year, and those who seem to have the buzz going their way as Oscar season proper heats up.

Even though it already seems like the five slots for Best Actor are mostly sewn up, it’s worth noting Paul Giamatti in Barney’s Version. Giamatti as the titular character as someone who takes a bite out of life, comes at it in bursts, and maybe destroys everything he values.¬†¬† Giamatti’s Barney is a heartbreaking, at times hilarious portrayal — always engaging. Giamatti is great at digging into characters who somehow manage to charm the pants off of us even while playing what most people would consider an unsavory character, both in looks and behavior. ¬†I’ll save much of my Giamatti love for a piece I’m working on about him — but for now, though it feels like trying to crowd one more passenger into a lifeboat, Giamatti’s work here, under-buzzed though it is, caught me off guard. ¬†He’s always good. ¬†He was great in Cinderella Man — his only Oscar nod. ¬†He was great in Sideways (my favorite performance of his). ¬†One of the reasons for this is that he is one of those actors who really does just want it to be about the work rather than the circus. ¬†He is always getting great roles, so career positioning doesn’t seem to be a motivator to bang the drum for Oscar. ¬†He doesn’t hold back with Barney – but lays it on the line, warts and all. The chances of him being one of the five in a very crowded year are slim, but he’s worth mentioning here.

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Thanks to OtherAmanda:

Honestly? You won’t find two better performances this year. It’s a tough sit, but you rarely see such authentic work.


They are both so pretty – it’s hard to even look at them. So glad to see this is getting the high profile treatment. Blue Valentine is easily one of the standouts of 2010 so far (but that comes with a warning that it’s a painful, heartwrenching film). Click for high res. Two more after the cut. Thanks to the fine folks at ONTD.

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Magnolia Films will release All Good Things some time this December, putting it right in the thick of things for Oscar season. ¬†The film is directed by Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) and also stars Kirsten Dunst. ¬†It’s quite fun going down this particular rabbit hole, due to the mysterious nature of Robert Durst (Gosling, presumably). ¬†While he was never convicted of any murder, he certainly seems to have committed more than the one to which he confessed.

There hasn’t been much buzz on All Good Things, but if it is the right kind of part and the right kind of film, we could be looking at a Gosling vs. Gosling year.

While Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn arranges elements of his proposed modern-day western set in Bangkok, more talent comes together for his adaptation of James Sallis’ neo-noir novelette, Drive. Ryan Gosling is already behind the wheel in the nameless role of “Driver” — a former Hollywood stuntman tangled up in a failed heist as the getaway man, on the run from his cutthroat accomplices. Film School Rejects now says Refn is happy to have Bryan Cranston joining the cast.

Similar to Breaking Bad fans and fans of Cranston in general, Refn is a great admirer, “We signed Bryan Cranston. I wanted him and I got him. He’s my favorite actor around.”

This news slipped during an interview for Valhalla Rising, and Film School Rejects neglected to ask Refn who Cranston would be playing. From the novel I know only two characters likely to fit his description. There’s a mobster names Bernie who makes a haunting late appearance in the last 30 pages. But a far more likely fit is Driver’s pal, Doc, a washed up physician turned drug-dealer who takes a break from dying of cancer to patch up a bullet hole or two. It’s a small but potent supporting part spanning the last half of the story. I’d lay odds we’ll see Cranston signed on as Doc.

The slim 158-page novel by Sallis was one of Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2006. I don’t want retype a lot of critics’ raves, but you can find a scan of the blurb page after the cut.

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We did the ladies, now it’s time to focus on the men. With Get Low opening today with decent enough reviews — we have to look at the Best Actor race, and whether a vet like Robert Duvall, who gives a well reviewed performance, can make it for the long haul.

Unlike the Best Actress race, the Best Actor race is still buried in the haze of expectations and unknowns. We wait for so many answers, like Jeff Bridges in True Grit? Brad Pitt in Tree of Life? We just don’t know. Javier Bardem‘s astonishing work in the very depressing Biutiful? Sean Penn again for Fair Game? George Clooney for The American?

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Some things you might not know about Blue Valentine is that director Derek Cianfrance has been meticulously working on this film for a good ten years. He brought it to Michelle Williams back in 2003, and a few years later they brough in Ryan Gosling. The idea was to wait until the two of them were old enough to be believable in the part. Since the film takes place in different moments in time, the actors had to take a hiatus and change themselves physically before coming back to film the later scenes of the couple.

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Rolling Stone’s Pete Travers gave props to Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams giving for Blue Valentine. Watch an exclusive clip on MTV’s Movies Blog.

EW’s Owen Gleiberman:

No movie I’ve seen at Sundance this year conjures the possibilities — or the current, gloom-and-doom marketplace environment — of independent film more powerfully than Blue Valentine. A lushly touching, wrenching, and beautifully told story, directed by Derek Cianfrance with a mood of entwined romantic dreams and romantic loss, it stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as Dean and Cindy, a young, semi-working-class couple who meet, fall in love, get married, raise a little daughter, and lose their spark, though not necessarily in that order. Among other things, the movie fractures time with elegant originality.

He’s basically saying, in his review, indie movies may be having a more difficult time, but films like this one help to keep the genre alive, especially with this director and these actors:

In this movie, Gosling and Williams act without a net, and Derek Cianfrance proves a filmmaker of rare sensitivity. I predict he’ll go far, and Blue Valentine, whatever the new, handwringing forces of indie marketing decree, deserves to be the movie that takes him a good part of the way there.

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