Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ryan Gosling: His 10 Best Performances

Happy Birthday to my favorite actor, Ryan Gosling! He just turned 33 yesterday, 11/12/13. Gosling is only in his 30s, but he's proved himself to be one of the most talented actors of my generation. And to me, Gosling is THE best. In his roles, he can be funny, he can be dangerous, and he can have you in tears. Gosling is inarguably one of the most beloved figures in the industry, and everyone loves him. Who doesn't? He has this appeal that's very hard to resist. No one could ever turn him down.

Out of his 18 movies, I've already seen 11. I notice I haven't got a chance to see 4 of his early movies, in which he only has small roles. Among them are Stay, Fracture (I've seen half of it), and Gangster Squad. So there is only one that doesn't make the list, All Good Things.

As promised, here's my list of his best roles to date (tell me what you think):

10. Julian (Only God Forgives)
As a follow-up to his previous film, Nicolas Winding Refn doesn't offer a significant difference here. This was my most anticipated movie that turned out to be this year's most disappointing. Gosling actually had me concerned. I couldn't really tell if his performance was any good, because he just stared most of the time. I don't think it's bad, but might be his weakest performance to say the least.

9. Jacob Palmer (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
2011 proved to be a great year for him when he appeared in three mainstream movies, one of them was Crazy, Stupid, Love (one of my faves that year). This was his first stab at comedy, he took a role that he'd never done before. There are only a few actors who can do anything, and Gosling successfully manages to convince people that he's one of them. He steals the show as Jacob, an ultimate ladykiller who can get any woman he wants. His chemistry with Steve Carrell is so lovely. My advice for him: do more comedy!

8. Noah Calhoun (The Notebook)
The Notebook is the movie that introduced me to Ryan Gosling. If it weren't for this, he probably wouldn't have gotten any of the roles that followed. Noah is a determined, hopeless romantic guy that wins people's hearts over from the first to the very last take. Girls must love his character, and maybe guys hate him, because let's face it, he makes us look so bad! Noah is hands down one of the most romantic movie characters of all time, not even exaggerating here!

7. Stephen Meyers (The Ides of March)
This is a smart political drama with another excellent performance from Ryan Gosling. He's impressive as Meyers, a junior campaign manager for the troublesome Mike Harris. Gosling's performance delivers and adds a lot to the movie. There are lies, manipulations, and twists. There's also a showdown between him and George Clooney that's great to watch. The Ides of March has a stellar cast, but they would have been less interesting if Gosling hadn't been in it.

6. Luke Glanton (The Place Beyond The Pines)
2013 marks his return with yet another three movies. This one is the lone survivor, while the other two suck. Gosling is once again phenomenal, despite lacking of his on-screen presence in 2/3 of the duration. Yes, he only appears in the first part, but he shines in it and owns the movie in its entirety. It's hard not to root for Luke, despite every criminal act that he's willing to do. Gosling's stunningly-honest and powerful performance here is among the best of his career. 

5. Danny Balint (The Believer)
The Believer was Gosling's debut in leading role. He starred as a young Jew turned Neo-Nazi, a role that earned him overwhelming critical acclaim. He gives an outstanding performance as a self-hating Jew with a serious identity crisis. He does a great job creating a character that's conflicted between heritage and self-hatred. The conclusion of the movie will break your heart once you see it. And the fate of Danny, in the afterlife, really gets me every time. 

4. Dan Dunne (Half Nelson)
Gosling plays a tough role as a drug-addict and school teacher who bonds with her female student, who soon discovers his dark secret that sparks their complicated relationship. Just like Danny in The Believer, Dunne is also conflicted between "what's right" and "what's wrong". His performance is beyond amazing here. This is the film where he proves just how great of an actor he is. The role earned him his first Oscar nomination, in which he lost to Daniel Day Lewis. His performance is very solid and thought-provoking, just like the film itself.

3. Dean Pereira (Blue Valentine)
Blue Valentine is probably the first Sundance movie that I genuinely loved. The movie has a structure that goes backwards and forth, and it works incredibly well. Gosling's ability to capture raw human emotion is exceptional. He is able to create such a devastating, melancholy character. He's completely distraught during the collapse of his relationship, so are we. His brutally honest and realistic portrayal of love is spectacular. Sadly he wasn't considered by the Academy. Two best moments: the motel and the ukulele scenes.

2. The Driver (Drive)
If Gosling were to have gotten a second Oscar nomination, it should have been this one. In his stylish portrayal of an unnamed getaway driver, Gosling embodies the most iconic movie character of the decade. His nearly-silent character is all about the feelings that he gives me. He's cold, brutal, dangerous, but also kind and humble. I can't imagine him being more perfect than he is here. Drive is a masterpiece that won't be forgotten.

1. Lars Lindstrom (Lars and the Real Girl)
Who would've guessed that one of the movies that really gets me would be about a guy who falls in love with a sex doll. Some of you may wonder why I rank this one higher than Drive, or Half Nelson. I was actually torn between Lars and Drive, because I like both equally. But Lars and the Real Girl has been my personal favorite since it came out. The love that I have for Ryan Gosling here is very strong that I can go on and on about it all day long. The movie itself is a superb original work (I'm looking forward to seeing Spike Jonze's Her, it has a similar premise). Gosling's performance is bizarrely honest and heartwarming. l honestly see quite a bit of myself in Lars and I do really feel for him. Gosling's role as Lars is the realest performance that I think I've ever seen. He's a revelation!

Dagmar: "It's such a comfort sometimes, just to have somebody's arms around you. Don't you think?"
Lars: "No. It doesn't feel good. It, it hurts. Like a burn. Like when you go outside and your feet freeze and you come back in and then they thaw out? It's like that. It's almost exactly like that."
Dagmar: "Same with everyone?"
Lars: "Uh, not really with Bianca. But everyone else."


  1. Ryan Gosling ! Suka banget sama peran dia di The Notebook. Bener banget, kalo si doi gak jadi pemeran utam di The Notebook, dia gak bakal setenar sekarang. Nice post :D

    1. Yup, The Notebook emang salah satu faktor utama dia bisa jadi sesukses sekarang. Thanks! :)

  2. Solid list, definitely. I agree with a lot of these. The only changes I'd make would be having Luke from Place beyond the pines, and Dean from Blue October a little higher on the list, and even though it was one of my favourite movies, Driver, from Drive should be a little lower in my opinion. Not because he didn't act well, but because I thought it was other elements of the movie that made it incredible, his character didn't really have a lot of range to work with, so I didn't really take in that that particular role was acted well.

    1. Actually I was going to have Luke a little higher until I realized I forgot about The Believer. It was an impressive performance for Gosling early on in his career and while I applaud Pines, I still think The Believer is a little better. Even though Pines is not in the top 5, I still love it immensely. As for Drive, it was outstanding and I don't have any reason to pull it down. His performance set the tone of the entire movie in my opinion. Btw I almost had both Drive and Blue Valentine as a tie, I didn't do it because I wanted a "Top 10" list, hahaha!

  3. I really need to watch Lars and the Real Girl anytime soon.. and this is a great list, Dan! My favorite (so far) would be Blue Valentine > Half Nelson > Drive > Pines > March. I haven't even seen the rest *dead*

    1. Thanks riz! :D Tadinya mau gw jadiin "tie" itu Blue Valentine sama Drive. Wah Lars and the Real Girl wajib nonton, gw cinta bgt!

  4. Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond The Pines -- Not-so-Gosling Gosling but that's gorgeous!
    Looking fwd to see him on Star Wars sequels

    1. He's good at everything haha! But the Star Wars rumors are false. Hehe