In just a short period of time, Ryan Gosling has proved himself to be one of the best actors of his generation. The dedication he gives to each role he takes on has been intense and never lacking in conviction. While he may be best known for his role in the tear-jerker “The Notebook,” Gosling has done a plethora of roles that proved him to be one of the most unforgettable actors. These are the best performances Gosling has given to date:
Daniel Balint in ‘The Believer’
His role in this one proved to be the breakthrough of Gosling’s career, and Entertainment Weekly ended up making this their main movie review over the more hyped (and eventual box office bomb) “Town and Country.” He plays Daniel Balint, a Jewish student who rebels against his religion by becoming a Neo-Nazi. It’s an amazing performance which captures each of the character’s dimensions making him neither hateful nor easily sympathetic.
Dan Dunne in ‘Half Nelson’
This is the movie Kevin Smith wanted “Red State” to look like. Gosling ended up getting his first Oscar nomination for his performance in this film. His character of Dan Dunne teaches history at a Brooklyn high school, and he ends up developing a friendship with a student who discovers his addiction to cocaine. Gosling brilliantly succeeds in making his character as believable as any school teacher we’ve come to be taught by.
Lars Lindstrom in ‘Lars and the Real Girl’
Gosling’s performance as Lars is his most emotionally driven performance to date. This movie about a deeply shy human being who develops a monogamous relationship with a blow up doll sounds like your typical Adam Sandler comedy, but it is much deeper and more thoughtful than you might expect. Gosling creates a truly believable relationship to this doll which allows him to break out of his iron clad shell to develop loving relationships outside of his family.
Dean Pereira in ‘Blue Valentine’
Gosling received a plethora of acting awards for his performance as Dean Pereira in Derek Cianfrance’s emotionally shattering film. His performance has such a depth that most actors his age are unable to reach, and it seems criminal he didn’t get an Oscar nomination like Michelle Williams did. This film is truly a character piece and Gosling more than rises to the challenge. As a high school dropout who never had a mother figure he could look up to, he is amazing as we watch him falling in love to marrying the love of his life and then to watching this relationship fall apart. This is one of the bravest performances you will ever see in a movie, and Gosling is riveting from beginning to end.
The Driver in ‘Drive’
2011 was a big year for Gosling with movies like “Crazy Stupid Love” and “The Ides of March,” but he gave no better performance that year than as the unnamed driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive.” Even with little to no dialogue, he succeeded in displaying a plethora of emotions and said so much by saying so little. If he were to have gotten an Oscar nomination for any film he did in 2011, it should have been for this one.
Noah Calhoun in ‘The Notebook’
Clearly we couldn’t leave this performance off the list as this movie many of his fans keep coming back to. Gosling wins us over from start to finish as Noah who is hopelessly smitten with Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) after seeing her at a carnival. When they end up getting separated because of their social differences, he makes you feel Noah’s immense heartache as he tries to get Allie back into his life. “The Notebook” was based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, and it remains the only real good adaptation of his work to date. Any other actor in this role would have seemed like they were just cast on the basis of their looks, but Gosling ends up melting the hearts of even those who can’t stand romantic movies.
Ryan Gosling still has a plethora of great performances left to give, and we all look forward to the dedication to whatever role he takes on next. He is one of the best movie actors working today.