Oscar Preview: The Hard-Working Thespian – Ryan Gosling

Every week from now until the critics groups start giving out their prizes for the best of the year, I’m going to be spotlighting the big Oscar players and their chances at Oscar glory this year.

One of the youngest Oscar nominees for Lead Actor, Ryan Gosling has been boiling over as a hot property for audiences and critics since his emergence as a romantic lead at the age of 24 in 2004’s The Notebook. However, his on screen acting career began 9 years earlier in a series of guest appearances eight television series over a two-year period. His first big screen role came in 1997 in the little seen and poorly received Frankenstein and Me. He went back to television that year and earned a starring role in the short-lived TV series Breaker High more TV roles continued, including a turn in the series Young Hercules as Herc himself. In 2000, the bright lights of Hollywood beckoned again and this time he was picked up for the popular football drama Remember the Titans, a film which would lead to a number of roles in a handful of motion pictures leading up to his 2004 Notebook appearance. One of which, The Believer was the first film that set Gosling up as an critic’s darling.

Two years later, cast in the indie flick Half Nelson at the age of 26, Gosling received numerous accolades resulting in his first, and thus far only, Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The next year, the dud thriller Fracture might have doomed his career if it weren’t for his kooky performance in indie Lars and the Real Girl. He received a lot of talk as a Best Actor nominee again, but the film only earned a nomination for Original Screenplay.

He took two years off, but returned in 2010 with two starring roles in indie dramas. The thriller All Good Things didn’t go fare well at the box office and neither did Blue Valentine, his relationship drama with fellow indie sensation Michelle Williams, but the film earned raves from critics for both Gosling and Williams’ performances. A heavy slate of potential Best Actor nominees kept Gosling out of the race while his co-star earned a nomination.

After a stellar 2010, 2011 has been even better with three films, one a comedy, all of which have the potential to earn the 32-year-old his second Oscar nomination.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The film did satisfactorily at the box office, and Gosling received solid notices for his supporting performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love, but comedy is a tough sell to Academy members, especially one that’s almost been forgotten. Gosling picking up a nomination for this might be in response to him losing a nomination for his other two starring efforts, but I doubt the Academy will go that far.

Forecast Categories (where the film is most likely to compete): None


This tense action thriller from Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn earned strong reviews from critics, but Gosling got a couple of mixed comments. Still, the film is one of the more effective dramas of the year and may be a favorite with critics at year-end awards, which could put it into competition in a handful of categories including Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay.

Forecast Categories (where the film is most likely to compete): Actor (Ryan Gosling), Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston), Original Screenplay, Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing.

The Ides of March

This is the political drama of the year and from Oscar-nominated director George Clooney, it makes it a strong contender in several categories. This is where Gosling has the best chance at an Oscar nomination. The competition this year is fierce, though, so getting in would be a strong continuation of his promising career. The film is also a major contender this year as I mentioned in my post on George Clooney a few weeks ago.

Forecast Categories (where the film is most likely to compete): Picture, Director, Actor (Ryan Gosling), Supporting Actor (George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti), Supporting Actress (Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei), Original Screenplay, Original Score, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Mixing.

Ryan Gosling’s Oscar History

  • Frankenstein and Me (1997)
  • Remember the Titans (2000)
  • The Believer (2001)
  • Murder by Numbers (2002)
  • The Slaughter Rule (2002)
  • The United States of Leland (2003)
  • The Notebook (2004)
  • Stay (2005)
  • Half Nelson (2006) – Nominated for Best Actor
  • Fracture (2007)
  • Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
  • All Good Things (2010)
  • Blue Valentine (2010)

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