Among the most talented generation of US actors since the 1970’s, Ryan Gosling has steadily risen to the top of the heap since his early days. At only 21 years old, he belied his youth and inexperience by burning a hole in the screen as the Jewish neo-nazi in The Believer, putting in a ferocious performance that captured all the inner conflict and torture of an emotionally volatile intellectual. However, it was five years later before he received proper attention with his phenomenal turn as the drug addicted school teacher in Half Nelson. Possessing a seemingly perfect balance between talent and natural presence, Gosling recalls the incendiary performances of Pacino and De Niro at the beginning of their careers and, like them, he has made a point of working on independent films despite his growing A-list status. As such, he has retained his edge a lot longer than most promising movie stars have and continued to stretch himself. A couple of recent collaborations with mercurial director Nicolas Winding Refn has ushered in a new stage to his career that has seen him play the pensive loner once or twice too often. For an actor with his depth and range, this is a waste of his craft and hopefully it will prove to be nothing more than another experimental stage in the career of an actor who is otherwise destined to be a screen icon.