There are actors with limited talent who manage to become decent by enormous effort and some smart career choices.And then there are the really talented and brilliant actors who work hard,succeed very quickly and then suddenly loose themselves.
With over 40 nominations and more than 20 wins in various actors awards, Ryan Gosling is/was probably the most promising thirty-something Hollywood actor. He started young and with hard work and some excellent choices he managed to become a true superstar.
He is serious,bright,committed,he knows his strength and manages well his weaknesses,he made good career judgements and fought bravely for his stardom.Still, for me it is always Ryan Gosling I am watching instead of the character he should play. And since he is truly talented I am probably harsher on him than he deserves.It always seems to me that there is one small step he should take to become really perfect and yet I can't decide what step is that.
His career choices were thoughtful,with some outstanding movies and among them my favourite, "Lars and the real girl".I love him in comedies in general but Lars had something special,the awkwardness,the determination to live his own love life the way he wanted it and the touching commitment to the girl of his dreams.Gosling was excellent, the best harmless weirdo I have seen,never falling in the trap of being simply ridiculous.That was certainly the role that could have gotten him important awards.
He loves to play problematic youth and it's a pity that the movies he chooses in this genre are often average or really bad.He is challenged by this kind of roles,and in spite of his boyish good looks he generally nails it."The believer" could have been a great movie,the story was compelling and Ryan took his chance bravely.He was good,he was fierce,he was disgusting when needed but the movie in general was to slow and the rest of the cast was simply pale.A similar role was played by Russel Crowe in "Romper Stomper" and Crowe had the advantage of having just the right looks for the part.Ryan's pretty face sometimes seems a burden since he needs to outplay it.
There were also "Murder by numbers", "Fracture" and "All good things".He is good in playing disturbed young men and among those I would pick All good things,probably because of Kirsten Dunst who was an excellent co-star.And yet there is something lacking in his psychopaths,as if Gosling has a certain limit he never dares to cross.
"Stay dead","Half nelson" and "Blue valentine" gave us another form of disturbed,and he plunged in it convincingly.He is always at his best when there is a passionate love interest for him since he really really falls in love with his partners but among the mentioned roles I prefer his performance in "Half nelson" that earned him the Oscar nomination.
I didn't forget "The notebook",the notorious romantic drama with Rachel McAdams.Gosling was very good,their romance real and the movie became a legend in its genre.
He continued his path to greatness with important and critically acclaimed movies "The ides of march","Drive", "Crazy stupid love".I guess he had high hopes for Ides and Drive,he got a lot of important nominations,he was every one's favourite and yet the most prestigious awards didn't come his way.As for Ides, I was not surprised.The movie was predictable and boring,Gosling was good but all in all it was just a big hype.Drive was different,it was a good movie with some serious flaws but nevertheless a good movie and there is a general appreciation for so-called transformational roles among public and critics.
Crazy stupid love was excellent.The cast was superb,it was clever,entertaining and touching and Ryan Gosling was exceptional.Funny,buoyant,he took us all by surprise and confirmed my opinion that comedy is a great genre for him.Globe nomination was great for Gosling but unfortunately with Jean Dujardin nobody stood a chance.
He was certainly disappointed, it was his best year so far and I can understand that he got tired of not winning.That is my explanation for his lazy performance in "Gangster squad". The movie was average but didn't deserve the slamming it got.Some actors were great like Josh Brolin and Mireille Enos,some things were irritating but all in all I have seen far worse.But as for Gosling, he didn't even try.He made a mixed tape of his previous roles and got away with it.Casting Emma Stone as his partner once again was a safe and boring choice.
The same thing happened in the mess of a movie,"The place beyond pines". Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling together were a great idea but casting Eva Mendes with Oscar nominated actors was a great risk that didn't pay off.Once again Gosling made a medley of everything he knew and the result was disappointing.
Of course he is entitled to make mistakes but only a few.He is a great,serious actor,a hard worker and smart career planner, bright and talented artist.Since he is so smart,he has no excuse for lapses.And now he should stop,listen and learn from those mistakes.It is time to reflect very carefully what to do next.Certainly not direct and write a fantasy thriller???????I hope I am wrong but it seems like a recipe for disaster.
He has done so much already and he is still young.His next move should be very very careful,not calculated but attentive and passionate.He needs high standards since talent is a very precious thing and it is unforgivable to waste it.
A very loud and insistent whisper for Gosling:
- please just take a break and think hard about your next role
- don't experiment with directing,there are only a few Clint Eastwood stories in Hollywood
- talk to Jason Reitman asap or
- find a great comedy script and produce it,take Jason Reitman to direct it,I think You two would make a great team.
Unfortunately,Ryan Gosling is not listening to whispers,and he had a rude awakening in Cannes where his film was trashed and ridiculed.
What now?Desert island or finding a new agent?
Hopefully someone close to him will convince him to rethink his career asap.
With best wishes but really worried,