It's films like these that truly test the strength of your actors. It isn't every day that a man brings a "sex" doll to his home, pretend it's his girlfriend, and has the whole town going along with it. But with a great lead actor in Ryan Gosling, there's opportunity to produce a good whimsical drama with plenty of heart. Lars and the real Girl deals with an awkward man, who suffers from delusion and maybe even a little bit more mental health issues, and his "real" girlfriend who proceeded to change his life forever. With a plot like this, it's really difficult to get on board with the premise for a good bit in the film. The only thing that's keeping this film afloat is the performance of Ryan Gosling. The ability of him to make this relationship with a doll feel so real is absolutely impeccable. Gosling has always impressed when it comes to his acting choices, and this film may be his boldest to date. He didn't get nominated for an Oscar, but Lars is one of the most challenging roles he's taken on, and he's as good as he's ever been. I found the community effort of making the doll real to Lars to be particularly moving. I could have done with a more built out relationship with his brother, as I feel like there was a missed opportunity emotionally. However, overall this film is one of the most unique films you'll see, and Gosling's turn is one of particular importance.