Posted by Alia Haddad on November 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm
It should come as no surprise to any of us that Ryan Gosling transforms easily. I mean, in one movie (Remember the Titans) the helplessly good-looking man plays a high school football player coming to terms with the integration of his team; in another (Half Neslon) he plays an inspiring teacher who also has a drug problem; he is used to playing smooth guys (Crazy, Stupid, Love), an upset, conniving politico (The Ides of March), and a getaway car driver turned vigilante (Drive); and once (Lars and the Real Girl, he even played a man who fell in love with a plastic blow-up doll, convinced she was real. So good is Gosling’s transformations that I so fully believe his roles, until he comes out with another.
So, lucky for us, we have two Gosling roles in our very near future. The beautiful man in question is playing leads in both Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to Drive, Only God Forgives and Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad. And while both intrigue me– Gangster Squad looks so fun, if only for the eye candy, and Only God Forgives, well you read when I said it was Refn’s next film (who wouldn’t want to see that?!)– there is something about the latter that just looks so darn good.
Is it Refn’s influence? Well, it definitely doesn’t hurt. Not only did Refn write and direct the thing, but he also outfitted the soundtrack with some ephemeral, poppy M83. And if there’s one thing that Refn did right in Drive, it was his pairing the film’s violent images with such beautiful music. But there is more to my interest than just Refn’s huge involvement with the pictures. I think a large part of my interest has to do with the fact that both are being marketed at the same time–Gangster Squad was set to open earlier, but was pushed back to January 11th due to the horrific Aurora shootings as there is a theater shooting in the film, and Only God Forgives as of yet has no release date, but images are starting to be released. And I am sure these images have so much to do with my ever-encroaching interest.
It would be one thing for one of the films to start releasing their photos of how Gosling appears in the film, but when two do it at the same time, I become enamored by his ability to change so fluently; it is this ability to self-transform, which is made ever so clear in the two juxtaposed pictures of Gosling’s upcoming characters, that gives me so much excitement for the upcoming Only God Forgives, and more than that, concretely solidifies Gosling’s role as a true craftsman. Check out the dueling images above, and let us know which one you’re dying to see: