XFINITY On Demand: Leonard Maltin Recommends ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ and ‘The Upside of Anger’

by | April 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Leonard Maltin's On Demand Picks, Xfinity On Demand, XFINITY On Demand Editor's Pick

"Lars and the Real Girl." (MGM)

Movies for grownups with great actors in the leading roles? What a concept! Here are two you can catch up with this month.

The versatile Ryan Gosling stars in “Lars and the Real Girl.” Lars is 27 and has never come to terms with being an adult male. He works in an office but dodges the advances of coworker Kelli Garner, and repeatedly refuses social invitations from his older brother and his sister-in-law, played by Emily Mortimer. Finally one day Lars receives a visitor who moves in with him: a life-sized doll whom he treats like a real human being. Lars’ friends, family and neighbors could treat this as a joke—and so could the filmmakers—but they don’t. Thanks to an understanding psychiatrist, played by Patricia Clarkson, they indulge the young man’s fantasy… and that’s what makes this movie so special. It’s about people coming together and caring for one another. And Gosling is totally believable as the man who’s trying to break out of his shell—in his own unusual way. Use to purchase Lars and the Real Girl” right now on your TV.

Discover more XFINITY On Demand picks here.

The Upside of Anger” is a very entertaining film starring the great Joan Allen as a woman whose husband suddenly vanishes from her life, leaving her to deal with their four nearly-grown daughters—played by Alicia Witt, Keri Russell, Erika Christensen and Evan Rachel Wood. Allen’s primary response is anger—or should I say fury—and the only person who can defuse her is her laid-back neighbor, a onetime baseball star played, in a canny piece of casting, by Kevin Costner. The film’s writer and director, Mike Binder, also has a costarring role, as Costner’s radio producer, in this amusing, surprising, and intelligent blend of comedy and drama. Use to purchase “The Upside of Anger” right now on your TV.

Films like these are all too rare, so they’re worth seeking out, and cherishing.

Note: These picks, which start at $0.99, may not be available in all areas. SEE MORE OF LEONARD MALTIN’S PICKS HERE.