Morse coaches small-town football star Ryan Gosling (pictured) in
this film about the Platonic love between a fatherless boy and his
closeted coach. Directorial debut of Andrew and Alex Smith. (1 hr.
57 mins.; R) BILGE EBIRI
Spotlight: Ryan Gosling
Having made his name as a ferocious, self-hating Jewish skinhead
in The Believer, 22-year-old Ryan Gosling gives another memorable
performance as a lonely, world-hating fatherless quarterback in
The Slaughter Rule. "It's not that I'm attracted to dark roles,"
Gosling says. "I'm just attracted to good writing, and these are
the best scripts that I've read." The Slaughter Rule, written
and directed by brothers Andrew and Alex Smith, plays like a cross
between Chuck and Buck and Varsity Blues. It's that elusiveness
that sold Gosling on the part: "I like films that are more about
asking questions than about making a point." He next appears in
The United States of Leland as a miscreant, opposite Kevin
Spacey. "I like wrestling with issues onscreen that I don't have
answers for in my life."
Opens January 8
& tickets (movietickets.com)