Caryn James

'Only God Forgives': Ryan Gosling in a World of Sick Pups

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 16, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Take Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas out of the equation, and Only God Forgives is no more than a stylish midnight movie about murder, vengeance and drug-dealing in Bangkok. But there they are, exuding talent and legitimacy: Gosling stony-faced yet magnetic as Julian, who runs a boxing gym, and Scott Thomas breaking her own mold in a Donatella Versace platinum wig as his drug-boss mother, Crystal. They make this the latest in Nicolas Winding Refn's strenuous attempt, after the cult-y Valhalla Rising and the mainstream Drive, to blur the line between exploitation and something that approaches art. They almost help him get there.

Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 28, 2013 9:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines is a giant ambitious triptych -- Ryan Gosling dominates the first part, Bradley Cooper the second, and two younger actors when the story leaps ahead in time -- and this trenchant view of fathers, sons and the determinism of class is two-thirds of a terrific film. If the last part seems a letdown, it's only because the first two work so powerfully to create believable, fraught, opposite lives occupying the same time and place.

Watch The Best Videos of 2011

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 21, 2011 10:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Like many of you, I’ll be taking some time off over Christmas weekend, but please come back to this post and spend an escapist minute or two with some of the funniest videos of the year, from Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon in a live-action “Ambiguously Gay Duo” to Ricky Gervais’ notorious, scathingly funny monologue at the Golden Globes. Remember when the world pretended that was a problem? Gervais, of course, has signed on to host again. (Yay!)

Best Films of 2011

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 19, 2011 9:21 PM
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  • 7 Comments
If there were ever a year to be wimpy and declare a tie, this would have been it: choosing between my Number 1 and Number 2 films was just silly. One is big, the other smaller; both are ambitious and perfectly made, but in wildly different ways. I adore them both.

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