To paraphrase a line from Zoolander, “that Gosling is so hot right now.” Whether you remember him as a Mouseketeer in the 90s, or are a recent convert to His Goslingness after watching any (or all) of his memorable performances in this year’s Crazy, Stupid, Love, Drive and The Ides of March, it’s hard to deny that he is a force to be reckoned with.
Sure, I took notice of him in The Notebook and he just broke my heart last year in Blue Valentine. He’s well spoken, very easy on the eyes, doesn’t play the same character over and over again, appears to have a great sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He has a great love for Disneyland and could even break up a fight in a pinch. But, that’s not why Gosling has my attention. He’s on my radar because he’s mastered the art of staring.
Why staring? Eyes are a big deal to me. It’s one reason why I am a fan of silent movies. Everything is expressed through the eyes. Talking only tells part of the story. It’s rare that actors act through their face as much as through their mouths, so when I come across someone who can do this, I’m a fan for life.
In Crazy, Stupid, Love, Gosling’s character, Jacob, literally sits in a bar staring at women. That staring also results in him noticing Steve Carell and Emma Stone, two characters that become very important to him as the movie unfolds. Womanizing aside, the most intimate moment of the film is a love scene between him and Stone, but it’s not your traditional love scene. Gosling is emotionally naked and opens himself up. The delivery of the lines is impeccable, but, watch his face. It’s a very touching and real moment.
I could go on all day about my love for the movie, Drive (I’m actually listening to the soundtrack as I write this). There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue in this movie, especially from Gosling’s character, so much of the acting is done through his gaze. He doesn’t need to say how he feels about the woman he loves (Carey Mulligan) and that he cares for her young son (Kaden Leos). It’s all communicated through his face. He even puts on a mask and confronts a character during the movie. So, you can’t see his face, but you can see…that’s right…his eyes. Watch his face during the last shot of the movie. It will kill you.
I saw The Ides of March on opening day, and while I was prepared for someone to get stabbed (et tu, Brute?) in some way, the movie fell a little flat for me. Gosling is a constant observer in this film, moving from pride, to suspicion, to paranoia to anger and revenge. I’m not sure he even blinks during a key scene with Philip Seymour Thomas and the closing shot is Gosling staring directly into the camera. Intense!
Whatever ails you this week, I guarantee Gosling will help set it right. Pick a movie and enjoy!
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
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