MOVIES

Robert Downey Jr.’s Golden Globe Should Have Gone To Someone Else

Margot Robbie might play the titular Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” but Ryan Gosling’s Ken threatens to run away with the film every single time he appears on-screen. From his very first moments vying for Barbie’s attention on a crowded beach by slamming face-first into plastic waves — after which he informs Barbie that his job isn’t lifeguard, but just “beach” — to the montage where he discovers the “wonders” of the patriarchy, Gosling gives everything he’s got to “Barbie.” It’s thanks to the actor’s wide-eyed commitment to his role that it works perfectly. He might be “just Ken,” but he’s the one who sings the film’s breakout song … and alongside Robbie’s Barbie, he experiences a full character arc. 

After he successfully overthrows the matriarchal structure of Barbie Land and installs a clumsily structured version of the patriarchy, Barbie helps Ken realize he needs to understand his identity without her, and while Gosling is giving the film his all for the entire run-time, it’s especially satisfying to watch him perform the moment where Ken fully realizes who he is. He is “Kenough,” and frankly, he was good “kenough” to beat Robert Downey Jr. That’s not to say that Downey Jr. wasn’t excellent in “Oppenheimer,” but Gosling created an entire character out of a plastic doll with no genitalia — which is a pretty remarkable feat.

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