spacer
Ransom Fellowship
spacer articles movies music books art faith discernment spacer
 
articles
publications
search
people
links
faq
blank
about
contact
press kit
Ransom Blogs
spacer
spacer
current article  
spacer
spacer
spacer
Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 1997) spacer Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 1997)
BY: Mark Ryan
spacer
Features & First Impressions

1. Reviewer Louise Keller (Urban Cinefile) writes, “This charmer of a film is one you will never forget. The elements are so bizarre, yet, like the film’s characters, we are able to take a leap of faith and never look back.” What about you? What most captured your attention: the "bizarre elements" or the film’s characters?

2. Given that one of the major characters in the film is a wheel chair bound, plastic sex-doll, it may be helpful to begin by establishing Bianca’s actual role in the film. Did Lars use Bianca for sex? (Be prepared to defend your answer). How would you describe the relationship between Lars and Bianca? What does Bianca provide or do for Lars? How did you find yourself relating to/thinking about Bianca?

3. Another significant character in Lars and The Real Girl is the community that Lars is part of. How might you describe the collective character of this small midwestern town?

4. What other films can you think of that feature community life (whether comedic or dramatic)?


Key Characters & Story Resolution
1. Lars and his brother Gus are the main men in the story. What do we know about these men? How is Lars introduced to us? What does he struggle with (especially externally)?

2. How is Gus presented to us? In what ways is he a contrast to Lars? What would you say characterizes the brother’s relationship to one another? With what does Gus struggle?

3. Why did Lars create Bianca? What does the film tell us about Lars’ past? What present circumstance seems to weigh heavy on Lars?

4. The title of the film is important. By my count there are four significant girls in the story. Who are they? How do they relate to Lars and Bianca?

5. Of these various female characters, who is THE real girl the movie title alludes to?

6. How did the story conclude? Where you satisfied by that ending? Was their closure for Lars? Please explain why or why not?


Basic Theme & Points of Interaction with Christian Faith
1. In light of discussion, how would you summarize what this film is and is not about?

2. Clearly, the advice of the town doctor is questionable. Nonetheless, as a community of believer’s who value truth telling, what might we learn from this film in the general approach taken toward Lars?

3. How is the church portrayed in this film?

4. Is there any ‘gospel’ in this film?

5. What do you take away with you from your having viewed this film?


Did you know...
1. The doll employed in the film had nine different faces, each used to show a sort of evolution of the character. Bianca’s face starts out with quite heavy make-up. Later a more natural looking face without make-up is employed. Finally, her face is made up to appear slightly green in order to reflect her "failing health".

2. To help Ryan Gosling stay in character, the real doll was treated like an actual person (as is done by the characters in the movie). This extended to her being dressed privately in her own trailer and to her being present only for scenes that she was in.

3. In the scene where Lars is reading to Bianca, he is reading from "Don Quixote", whose main character also has delusions.

4. In addition to his remarkable acting ability, Ryan Gosling (Lars) also performed the song "LOVE" (written by Bert Kaempfert and Milton Gabler).

image

Questions:
-

Source:
Credits for Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling (Lars Lindstrom)
Emily Mortimer (Karin)
Paul Schneider (Gus)
Kelli Garner (Margo)
Patricia Clarkson (Dagmar)

Director:Craig Gillespie
Writer: Nancy Oliver
Producers: Peter Berg, Bruce Toll and others
Release: 1997 (USA)
Run time: 106 mins
Rated PG-13.

spacer
spacer
spacer
about the author
spacer
Mark Ryan
Mark Ryan, together with his wife Terri, served with L'Abri Fellowship for many years (first at Southborough, MA, then on Bowen Island, BC). Presently, Mark serves the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary, St.Louis, MO.
spacer spacer spacer
other articles from this author
spacer
The Emperor's Club (Ethan Canin & Neil Tolkin, 2002)

Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010)

The Way, Way Back

spacer
related articles
spacer The Way, Way Back

Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010)

The Emperor's Club (Ethan Canin & Neil Tolkin, 2002)

The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Mira Nair, 2013)

What Dreams May Come (Vincent Ward, 1998)

Seducing Doctor Lewis (Jean-Francois Pouliot, 2004)

Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 1997)

Henry Poole is Here (Albert Torres, 2008)

A Beautiful, Unrelenting Foe



The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam, 2014)

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

Obvious Child (Gillian Robespierre, 2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013)

House of Cards (Beau Willimond, 2013)

Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)

Noah (Darren Aronofsky, 2014)

A Man For All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann, 1966)

spacer
spacer spacer spacer bottom
Ransom Fellowship
Ransom Fellowship
spacer This web site is old and creaky. The email function functions poorly when it functions at all. Worse, it all looks old. So we are starting work on building a new site, and hope to have it functioning by fall.

Our vision will not change, nor will our attempt in this little spot of the Internet to invite you to join us in thinking about the things that matter most. Thanks for visiting.

Denis & Margie Haack
Anita Gorder
spacer
spacer
bottom

Home | Articles | Publications | Search | People | Links | FAQ | Donate | About | Contact | Press

All material © 2000-2017 Ransom Fellowship Ministries
Site design by JaM Multimedia