Ryan Gosling Vs. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Is this not why you are here? Are you not entertained?
By James Brady Ryan
Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are both young actors poised to make it to the A-list if they play their cards right. Both have established indie cred, both are considered thinking person's sex symbols, and both had... less than fantastic beginnings, let's say. Is there room for two at the top of Hollywood? Sure. But let's pit them against one another anyway.
“The kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun did what?” That was the general reaction when Joseph Gordon-Levitt broke out from his sitcom roots with an unexpectedly sober Gregg Araki drama about two victims of molestation. Gordon-Levitt brought a sinewy sexuality to Neal that probably made a lot of people both turned-on and uncomfortable, and rightly so. The obvious parallel between Neal's attraction to older men and the psychic trauma inflicted by the hands of his little-league coach could have seemed ham-handed if JGL hadn't sold Neal's bravado quite so well. And the final scene between Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbett is quietly heartbreaking.
In lesser hands, the unwieldy dialogue of Rian Johnson's teen-noir whodunnit would have landed with Juno levels of unreality. But even if we didn't get every word — they talk really fast in this movie — JGL sells it well. (Plus, this time you didn't feel at all conflicted about finding him sexy.) Brick could have played as ridiculous, or just emptily clever, but Gordon-Levitt's world-weary performance gives it real gravity.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is obviously an attractive guy — but his looks haven't really changed since 10 Things I Hate About You. Yet somehow, people who’d thought he was “cute” for a decade saw him in Inception and called him “hot.” Arthur is a small role, but Gordon-Levitt makes the most of it, with a smoldering cool that seems straight out of the 1950s. If that was the first glimpse into what we’ll see from grown-up Gordon-Levitt, he’s going to have an amazing career.