LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
*½/**** Image A Sound B Extras D
starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner
screenplay by Nancy Oliver
directed by Craig Gillespie
THE PASSION OF GREG THE BUNNY: THE BEST OF THE FILM PARODIES VOLUME 2
Image B+ Sound B Extras C+
"Fur on the Asphalt," "Wumpus the Monster," "Sockville," "Blue Velveteen," "Plush: Behind the Seams," "Wacky Wednesday," "The Passion of the Easter Bunny: A Fabricated American Movie"
½*/**** Image A- Sound B- Extras D
starring Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Stephen O'Donnell, Jennifer Ellison
written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams
by Ian Pugh Beyond its pale stab at indie street cred and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay (which are almost one and the same these days), Lars and the Real Girl shares with Juno an invitation to partake in a never-ending stream of laughs over its premise until it basically flips a switch and instructs you to get emotional over it--the supposed target of discussion here being nothing less than that ever-popular subject of paternalistic revulsion, mental illness. Ryan Gosling turns his "twitchy zombie" knob up to eleven as Lars, a quiet loner living in his brother Gus's (Paul Schneider) backyard shed. After Gus's pregnant wife Karin (Emily Mortimer) expresses concern that her brother-in-law is spending too much time by himself, Lars orders a realistic sex doll named "Bianca" over the Internet and parades it around the neighbourhood as the girlfriend he never had, much to the consternation of Gus, Karin, and Lars's would-be love interest Margo (Kelli Garner), who can only respond with uncertain stares and a lot of hemming and hawing.