Do you remember the times when Ryan Gosling wasn’t considered a hunk? I’m not talking about his Disney times, I’m talking about the time in between, when he was being ‘just’ a decent actor. Before he took his shirt off in ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ and suddenly everyone started seeing him as the most desirable man on the planet. Not to mention ‘Fuck Yeah!Ryan Gosling’ site…
Before that time he was starring in good independent films like ‘Believer’, ‘Half Nelson’ ‘Murder by Numbers’. I could almost forgive and forget the most boring film ever which phenomenon I could never comprehend – ‘Notebook’. I don’t understand why it was so popular, as I never managed to watch even 5 minutes of it before screaming with worry that my brain would caramelize…It was always as painful to me as watching the first few minutes of ‘English Patient’. I just wanted to scoop my eyes out to save myself…
Anyway, around that time he also appeared in one of the best independent films ever, which in contrast has never been as noticed as the sugar-coated-teeth-rotting ‘Notebook’.
I’m talking about ‘Lars and the Real Girl’.
The film is about a young guy living in solitude and hardly bearing being touched by another human being. We learn, as the plot progresses, what made him like that. One day his life changes but in a totally different way than you would expect. The film is beautifully balanced between tragedy and comedy. To me, there is a nod to Ingmar Bergman’s work. First of all, the main character (Lars Lindstrom) and many people living in the town have Scandinavian names. The community is very tight and supportive. The movie takes place in a small town in northern Minnesota or Michigan, but you could imagine it taking place in Sweden, as the weather seems similar with snow and cold, gloomy lighting . Like in Bergman’s films, there is a question of existence, loneliness, alienation and human nature. There is also glorious craziness in some of the scenes.
It is a perfect film to watch on a cold, winter evening. And to sweeten it up, why not have it with a brownie!
(adapted from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow)
2 cups spelt flour
1 cup raw cocoa
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbs cocoa nibs (optional)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup rice oil (vegetable oil or melted coconut oil is fine as well)
1 cup maple syrup (can be replaced with honey or agave syrup)
1/2 strong espresso
1/2 cup almond, oat or rice milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Grease baking dish and line with parching paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Add pecans, cranberries and cocoa nibs.
3. In a separate bowl whisk coffee, oil, milk, syrup and vanilla essence. Mix wet ingredients with the dry ones. Do it gently, don’t overmix!
4. Pour batter into a dish, bake for about 15-20 minutes (check with the toothpick if brownie is done).