One of the greatest joys I have as a teacher is showing this film to my seniors to combat senioritis. It is a completely off the wall film involving Ryan Gosling playing a social recluse who buys a sex doll to be his girl friend. Sounds bizarre, I know, but what results is a fascinating look at psychology as both the protagonist and his brother and sister-in-law, and the community at large, gradually accept the reality of this doll and are impacted greatly as a result. Anybody else seen this film and liked it?
What are your favourite films that you like to show as part of your teaching and how do you use them?
I also enjoyed Lars and the Real Girl, though the school where I work is much too conservative to ever allow it to be shown in class. The psychology of the film is definitely an interesting angle to explore. I do the same thing in my senior classes to ward off end of the year laziness... this year I showed The Importance of Being Earnest as a conclusion to our British Lit course.
I also love showing The Crucible in conjunction with reading the play junior year. My students analyze the director's choices in the film, especially considering the organization of the scenes and the differences in setting from the stageplay to the film. It really is an excellent example of how plays must transform for the film audience.
I've seen Lars and the Real Girl and had never thought of using it in the way that you do, but it's an interesting idea. I think that it might work for post-AP exam lethargy in my classes. I really enjoyed the film, much more than I thought I would, and have recommended it to several people over the past year.
In regards to films which I love to show my students, my two favorites are The Emperor's Club with Kevin Kline and An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford. Both are films that virtually none of my students have heard of, and they end up loving them. The Emperor's Club provides for a valuable discussion of ethics and morals and An Unfinished Life provides fodder for an analysis of symbolism (regarding a grizzly bear) and the title's significance.