Autism Through Cinema

Lars and the Real Girl (2007) dir. Craig Gillespie

October 29, 2021

We welcome special guest Natalie Marcus to the podcast, who brings along the curious romantic comedy Lars and the Real Girl (2007) for discussion. The film depicts a shy and socially awkward man played by Ryan Gosling who buys himself a sex doll, calls it Bianca, and treats it as his real girlfriend. Rather than a gratuitous and crude sex comedy, or a saccarine depiction of an autistic outsider, we were surprised to find a gentle and careful film that does an honest job of exploring alternative social existence. We talk around themes of social rehearsal, the animism of objects, and the incorporation of neurodiversity into communities. There are some concerns raised around the patriarchal control that Lars has over Bianca, but we welcomed the way the film attempts to show how learning important social lessons around gender can be enriching.

On this recording you hear Natalie Marcus, David Hartley, John-James Laidlow, Georgia Bradburn and Janet Harbord.

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