Hey, girl. Why isn't Gosling one of the front-runners for Oscar?
With deserving front-runners declared on three out the four Oscars acting awards (Viola Davis, Ali Mahersala and Emma Stone), much of recent Academy Award pundit conversation has been focused on which of the two Best Actors (Casey Affleck, Denzel Washington) will win. But why isn’t this a three man race with Stone’s co-star Ryan Gosling?
I’ve heard “he’s just playing himself,” “he can’t sing” and he’s “too light.” So here’s my five-point case for Best Actor nominee Ryan Gosling:
1. La La Land was nominated for 14 Academy Awards.
Without Gosling’s inherent coolness I’m not sure this straight-faced, throwback musical would have worked. It obviously did; La La Land tied Titanic and All About Eve for the most nominations in history. Imagine this film with say Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages, Footloose) and Tom Cruise (Rock of Ages). Without its two center stars, La La Land could have easily been the next Rock of Ages —or Xanadu.
2. He sings. He dances. He taps.
Anyone who’s seen classic Hollywood musicals can see he’s done his homework. Not just the light-footed choreography — his facial expressions match what we would see in numbers from Gene Kelly and other Hollywood royalty. Try that, Casey Affleck.
3. We really don’t want him to sing like a pop star.
Emma Stone’s quirky, unpolished singing worked well for this film, and the same should be said for Rosling. If he sang polished like Justin Timberlake, his past Mouseketeer costar, we would have squirmed. Have you seen the video for Can’t Stop This Feeling? Ew.
Stone and Gosling, like Kate and Leo, have the best onscreen chemistry in Hollywood today. And in this one, he kept his shirt on so that we don't have to hate him.
5. Gosling had the most daring year of any actor.
Unlike his competition, we saw Gosling in three roles during the calendar year of 2016.
In The Big Short last January, he stole the show as a dynamic trader. In The Nice Guys this summer, he went all in on slapstick comedy with success (unlike his co star), and by the end of the year he was tap dancing through a throwback musical in one of the best reviewed films of the year. Take that, nominee-for-one-film and previous winner Denzel Washington.
The ten buck review: La La Land is totally worth ten bucks, every time you see it. And Gosling should be in the top three.