Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2007. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Lars Productions. Screenplay by Nancy Oliver. Cinematography by Adam Kimmel. Produced by Sarah Aubrey, John Cameron, Sidney Kimmel. Music by David Torn. Production Design by Arvinder Grewal. Costume Design by Kirston Leigh Mann. Film Editing by Tatiana S. Riegel.
Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a soft-spoken office worker in frosty Minnesota whose family is worried about him, living as he does in the garage while his brother (Paul Schneider) and pregnant sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer) reside in the main house, constantly trying to get him to spend more time with them. One day, Lars announces that he’s coming over and he’s bringing his new girlfriend; he met her on the net, she’s in a wheelchair and she’s religious, so she’ll have to sleep in the house. Brother and sister-in-law are thrilled until they discover something about the new girlfriend that seems to have escaped Lars: she’s a sex doll. Afraid to cause a disaster, they go along with psychologist Patricia Clarkson‘s recommendation to treat “Bianca” as if she were real, going along with Lars’ delusion and feeding, clothing and bathing this rather soft-spoken young woman. Bianca becomes a key member of this very sweet society, volunteering her time for church events and getting voted to the school board as the wonderfully loving community that they live in embraces the needs of one of its members enough to put aside any possible cynicism or doubt. Nancy Oliver has written a terrific screenplay that celebrates the best possibilities of human interaction, but she and director Craig Gillespie never let the endearing elements of this film become sappy or cute. Gosling is marvelously subtle in the role (he never touches his chin once!), and creates a deeply affecting relationship with his inanimate co-star.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Screenplay
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Ryan Gosling)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)
Toronto International Film Festival: 2007