Lars and the Real Girl

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The second the credits started rolling after a recent showing of the film Lars and the Real Girl, my friend turned to me and said, “That was the most boring film I’ve ever seen in my life. I fell asleep, like, five times.”

Boring? I disagree. The film creeps along at a slow pace, but can you tell the story of an extremely sensitive, emotionally wrecked young man whose platonic relationship with a blow-up doll helps him get over the death of his mother and social anxieties at a fast pace? You could, but it probably would have to star Will Ferrell and be directed by Judd Apatow.

This film, starring Ryan Gosling and directed by newcomer Craig Gillespie, is an earnest, sincere, and often sappy tale of a small Midwest town transformed by one man’s real “relationship” with a fake person. It is hokey (the older, wiser women of the town sitting in a knitting circle wearing sweaters and offering casseroles and their undying support when Gosling’s character is depressed), and it is, at times, a tear-jerker (lots of close-ups of a misty-eyed, red-faced Gosling as he comes to terms with his inner self), but it’s also funny (Gosling getting into “arguments” with his doll).

The movie feels like an art-house film for the family: It’s quirky and character-driven, but it’s also, in the end, a feel-good flick about good people doing good things for each other. Boring? Maybe. Depends who you ask, or what mood you’re in when you see it. Cheesy? A little. Worth watching if you’re into small-budget films with mostly unknown actors forming friendships with a plastic woman purchased on the Internet? Yup.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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