Ryan Gosling is one of the finest actors of his generation, and many of the hit movies from his extensive filmography are streaming now.
Yes, The Notebook is among them, and is available on Netflix. However, Gosling has proven to be much more beyond that star-making role, and now is a great time to appreciate those.
Below you’ll find some other excellent movies from Gosling’s catalog streaming in May.
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Blue Valentine (Netflix, Showtime & Sling TV)
Plenty of options to stream this dark romantic drama, which is definitely worth catching for the acting alone.
Gosling earned a Golden Globe nomination for his turn opposite Michelle Williams. It’s an out-of-sequence narrative of a married couple who ultimately unravels and sees their union flame out.
But oh, it’s pretty spectacular to watch. Williams also earned a Golden Globe bid in addition to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
For the next couple movies streaming, we arrive at Gosling’s far more subtle acting fare.
Drive is an absolutely brutal, ultra-violent film, yet Gosling seldom utters a word. Even his facial expressions don’t change very often. What we do know is, he has a good heart, and, damn, can he drive!
The supporting cast is exceptional with Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman. If you like hard-R action, suspense and criminal underworld stories, Drive is for you.
First Man (HBO Go/HBO Now)
Continuing in the vein of subtlety, First Man sees Gosling portray astronaut Neil Armstrong as he prepares for the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
In addition to adopting Armstrong’s mannerisms, countenance and inner life, Gosling’s voice is noticeably different than usual. He captures the NASA pioneer’s cadence and inflections incredibly well.
Gosling missed out on Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for his work. It might’ve been due to the film’s underwhelming box office. In any event, First Man marks one of Gosling’s finest hours as an actor.
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The Ides of March (Unavailable currently)
The stars are out in this political drama directed by and co-starring George Clooney, but Gosling takes the lead. He plays campaign adviser Stephen Meyers for Clooney’s presidential hopeful Mike Morris.
But even the straight-arrow Stephen gets tempted by power as the plot goes on. A string of double-crosses, betrayals and scandal threatens to derail Morris’ bid to be the Democratic nominee.
When you have actors like Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the catalysts pulling on Gosling’s character’s allegiances from both sides, it inevitably creates an exceptional central conflict.
La La Land (USA Network)
The Best Picture Oscar winner that wasn’t, La La Land was still nominated for 14 Academy Awards. With all the accolades and hype, it was bound to be deemed overrated by some.
However, upon repeat viewings, this excellent musical by writer-director Damien Chazelle really holds up. Beautiful cinematography, choreography and a bittersweet central love story lift it to instant classic status.
Gosling crushes his role as a jazz pianist, credibly playing all the complex music throughout the film. Co-star Emma Stone won Best Actress honors at the Oscars, while Chazelle took home Best Director.
Lars and the Real Girl (Amazon Prime Video, and Hoopla)
In a vast departure from leading-man status or reluctant hero/leader, Gosling is devastatingly wholesome, awkward and shy in this 2007 gem.
He plays the titular Lars, who orders a blow-up doll online. She becomes his girlfriend. It’s designed to be a sex doll, yet Lars develops a purely platonic relationship with “Bianca.”
There are very sad reasons for this I won’t spoil here. If you like offbeat, quirky, weird indie rom-coms, check out Lars and the Real Girl.
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The Place Beyond the Pines (Netflix)
One of the most overlooked credits in the careers of both Gosling and Bradley Cooper, The Place Beyond the Pines is a pulse-pounding, moral quandary of a thriller.
There are a ton of surprises in this one. It’s almost impossible to discuss the movie in much detail without spoiling what makes Gosling’s turn so fascinating.
This is a reunion between writer-director Derek Cianfrance and Gosling after their initial Blue Valentine collaboration. Similar dark tones to this story, so buckle up!
Remember the Titans (Disney+)
It’s almost more of a glorified cameo, yet Gosling is nevertheless still in this Disney family-friendly classic. He plays a young cornerback on a high school football team attempting to integrate amid the Civil Rights Movement.
Denzel Washington stars as coach Herman Boone, the man tasked with bringing together his players amid racial tensions and divide. It’s an excellent story, and Gosling’s part is small but key.
Remember the Titans made over $136 million at the box office against a $30 million budget. It holds a 93 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score.
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