5 Lars and the Real Girl
In this quirky comedy-drama, Gosling plays a young man whose lackluster love life takes a strange turn when he falls for a lifelike doll of a woman that he buys online. The film explores romantic relationships and loneliness. Gosling portrays a range of emotions, from depression to joy, as the story unfolds.
4 Blue Valentine
Ryan Gosling stars with Michelle Williams in this independent romantic drama that chronicles moments in a relationship. Gosling and Williams present the joy of young love and the pain of a breakup, transforming their mannerisms and appearances to portray the couple over many years. The Oscar-nominated film split opinions from critics but generated a great deal of publicity for Gosling in the process.
3 Half Nelson
In one of his most intense and transforming roles, Gosling plays a drug-addicted schoolteacher in this Oscar-nominated drama. Gosling’s character, Dan Dunne, works in a lower-class public school where his drug addiction doesn’t prevent him from trying to be an inspiring and exciting educator. The movie deals with socio-economic issues of race, class and gender, establishing Gosling as capable of carrying serious themes forward through his acting.
2 The Ides of March
Ryan Gosling’s first political thriller role sees his starring opposite George Clooney. Gosling plays a campaign manager who stumbles onto evidence that might determine the fate of a hard-fought battle for the presidency. Released just as the 2012 presidential campaign was heating up, this film earned Gosling a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
In this violent crime movie, Ryan Gosling stars as the nameless “Driver,” a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for an organized crime ring. The film features extended sequences of stunt driving while Gosling also gives feeling to a love story in which he becomes a guardian for his neighbor and her young son. The Oscar-nominated film by Nicolas Winding Refn gave Gosling several acting nominations and grossed over $35 million.