The Great ‘Beyond’: Gosling & Cooper Go For An Epic Triptych

gosling-pbp-17Is there a male star more objectified than Ryan Gosling?

One or two, maybe, but none with as much cred. Ryan Gosling is an Oscar nominee — but possibly not as many times as he should be, in roughly the same position Leonardo DiCaprio was a few years back. Admired and almost respectable enough for the Academy, and yet, with Tigerbeat-grows-up looks that stop some from taking him seriously.

I can’t claim to know why Ryan Gosling selects the roles he does, but based on his work lately, I’d surmise that he prefers parts that allow him to say very little and look awesome doing it. The scorpion jacket and leather gloves of Drive; the ’40s mobster chic of Gangster Squad; whatever the hell goes on in Only God Forgives. His roles tend to exalt him to a James Dean-level of pretty boy stoicism, one part Jason Statham and one part Zac Efron. Maybe it’s a coincidence that most of his roles are overly stylized — even his grungy dad in Blue Valentine had a certain showiness, complete with “can you believe Ryan is slumming it this hard?” baldness and facial hair. Or how about the killer drag of All Good Things? I’m not sure if Ryan is more drawn to characters who are interesting, or characters who look interesting, but either way, the role of “Handsome Luke” seems like it was written for him.

Oh — because it was.

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