I don’t know about you, but I’m always wary of a plot involving a blow-up doll. Lars and the Real Girl, a movie about a man so damaged he can only connect with a facsimile of a person, manages to take this absurd idea and turn it into something original and poignant.

One of those films that equals more than the sum of its parts, Lars and the Real Girl presents a small ensemble of actors that bring out the best in each other – Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Paul Schneider. Without them, the story itself might have fallen apart.

Grade: A

Lars and the Real Girl is currently available.