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Look out for more coverage of
Lars and the Real Girl in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Lars and the Real Girl

Ryan Gosling • Emily Mortimer • Paul Schneider • Patricia Clarkson
DIRECTOR: Craig Gillespie

Accepting the new girlfriend. Well, almost… THE CONCEPT:
Lars Lindstrom (Gosling), an emotional introvert, tells his brother Gus (Schneider) and sister-in-law Karin (Mortimer) that he’s met a girl named Bianca on the Internet. They are shocked to discover that she is a Real Doll. The family physician, Dr Berman (Clarkson) advises them to go along with Lars’ delusion to help him get through his crisis. Soon the entire town gets onboard, and Bianca starts attending church, modeling at the local dress shop, volunteering at the hospital and accompanying Lars to his first social events.

U.S. RELEASE: October 12 2007, Limited
• Rated: PG-13


“The movie is totally unique. When I first heard of it I thought it was whacky. But it’s true, there’s a whole community of guys out there that have these dolls and they have very complicated relationships with them. I think, for me, it was not dissimilar with a kids’ relationship with his teddy bear. You love it and you go through really important parts of your life with it, you talk to it, and if you were to ever lose it, it would be heartbreaking. Lars is a big child and he has all this romantic love to give and he doesn’t know how to do it. I think there is something really romantic about the film and the idea that love is not a transaction; that it’s something you can just give and it doesn’t have to be returned to you.”

Director Craig Gillespie“To me what this film is really about is community, hopefulness and love. Bianca’s the conduit. The people in the town know what’s going on with him, but they don’t know how to connect with him or help him. And when Bianca turns up it’s an opportunity for them to reach out. So I think that’s what is surprising about the film. You think you’re going to this light comedic romp about this sex doll, and it’s never about that.”

“I don’t think Lars is normal, but I think that it’s difficult for everyone to be a human being. And I think Lars deals with his pain and his inability to cope and to interact in this really creative way. So in a way I admire him.”

“We offered this to Ryan first. He got the script over the weekend and came in on Monday. We talked about some specific scenes in the film and how I saw them, and the way he sat there and visualized those scenes he just looked so innocent and accessible, and I thought, ‘That’s Lars.’”

“Bianca had an entourage (he laughs). Her entourage, the girls that were taking care of her, would give her magazines to read in between takes, and she was always treated like one of the actors. Everybody on the crew went out of their way to respect Lars’ idea of her.”

“I thought that we had to treat Bianca with as much respect as any actress. Not only the way we handled her, but even the way I handled her in the film, there are no nude shots of Bianca. When Ryan was doing his performance opposite her, we’d have her behind the camera for him.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Lars and the Real Girl site
Images above © Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #689, November 2007 cover

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