Netflix Recommendation: Lars and the Real Girl

I’ll never understand why Ryan Gosling didn’t get an Oscar nomination for this film.  Despite getting some great movie roles, I still see Gosling as an extremely underrated actor.  I first noticed his talent when I saw The Notebook, and he confirmed his acting chops with Lars and the Real Girl.  The film is about a lonely guy from a small town who tells his family that he finally got a girlfriend.  His family is thrilled, and they invite them over for dinner to meet his girlfriend.  When Lars (Gosling) shows up with a doll and introduces her as his girlfriend, his family has no idea how to react.  They decide to treat the doll as if she’s a real person until they can figure out a solution.  The exploration of Lars’ mental health, coupled with the task of treating a doll as a real human being, makes this film one of the best I’ve seen.  Rent it.

Underrated Actor of the Week: Michael Rady

This week’s pick for underrated actor of the week was an easy one.  I first noticed Michael Rady on ‘Swingtown’, one of the best shows on television that was sadly canceled after season one.  ‘Swingtown’ came on my radar mostly by accident.  I was studying for the California bar exam and looking for a show on Netflix that I could watch every day when I came home from class.  After watching one episode, I was hooked.  Needless to say, I lost an entire day of studying because I was dying to see what happened next.  The show was a bit of a boundary pusher, and I think CBS had trouble promoting it.  And as we know with television today, networks don’t afford shows the opportunity to “find their way.”  Struggling ratings in season one means you’re canceled – and ‘Swingtown’ was an unfortunate casualty.  After coming out from my television cave, I googled Rady to see what his next move was.  He’s appeared on both ‘Greek’ and the new ‘Melrose Place,’ but has yet to become a household name.  He should be.  If you don’t believe me, Netflix ‘Swingtown’ and judge for yourself.  Just make sure you have enough time on your hands to watch all of season one in one pop – because I promise you’ll get hooked.

Underrated Actor of the Week: Eion Bailey

I found myself watching the rather enjoyable train wreck that was ‘Center Stage,’ and I thought: “wow, that guy who plays ‘Jim Gordon’ is the only decent actor in this film” – which led to this week’s choice.  So I researched further, and I discovered that Eion Bailey actually has a serious line of credits to his name.  His most acclaimed role was that of ‘Pvt. Kenyon Webster’ in HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers.’  (I suppose that beats the ballet film.)  Bailey won a daytime Emmy for the television movie, ‘Life of the Party,’ and he can be seen next in the upcoming USA series, ‘Covert Affairs.’  Since I’m rather superficial, I’d also like to note that the fact that Bailey is extremely good-looking certainly helped with my selection.  Don’t get too excited though ladies – he’s married.