Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
"The Believer" explores a Jewish student's private journey to understand the meaning of Judaism in his life. Set in New York City, the Plot follows a morally confused young adult struggling with the conflict between his beliefs and his heritage. "The Believer" examines themes of religion, family, and self-loathing. It is a psychological examination into the forces of intolerance, both on the individual and society as a whole. Written by
I think I first saw Mr. Gosling in Murder by Numbers, in which he played half of a modern-day Leopold and Loeb murder team. In that good-but-not-great thriller, he did a fine job with an easy role: the smarmy manipulator who's convinced his Intellect is so superior to everyone else's that he has the right -- no, the obligation -- to kill those inferior to himself.
In The Believer, Gosling plays the young fascist who really seems to believe the antisemitic vitrol he spews. His skinhead punk is just as scary, believable and *common* as Edward Norton's in American History X -- with the added layer of being from an Orthodox background. He has apparently convinced those around him that his fascination with all things Judaic is only an effort to "know his enemy thoroughly" -- nothing more.
Gosling is nothing short of astounding in this role. He richly deserves all the honors bestowed upon him. If he continues to only get roles like Murder by Numbers, it will be a waste of a wonderful natural resource, kind of like strip mining in Yellowstone.
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