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Face-Off: Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Ryan Gosling

Feb. 16, 2012by: Paul Huffman
Welcome to The Face-Off, the ultimate showdown for movies. Every week, the Face-Off takes two movies and compares the hard facts and details for each. We'll decide which film we think was stronger for each section that we break down, but ultimately the decision on which movie wins the overall battle is up to you. After you've read through what you need to know, let us know which movie YOU think is the champion and why!

This week we focus on two young versatile actors who dedicated years to their craft and have spent the last few years enjoying that hard work and dedication paying off. I am talking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling. There is little if anything bad to say about these two studs, their love for what they do and dedication to it is evident and it's infectious. Both show no signs of slowing down, and on any other day I wouldn't be able to choose between them. But today is not that day. We will be discussing the sexiness of these cat, the aforementioned talent they have the back those looks up, and the accolades they've received as a result of that. Let's get to it.

Childhood
JGL was born in Los Angeles to a Jewish family. He began acting at an early age starting at age 4 when he played the Scarecrow in a play rendition of the Wizard of Oz. He went on to star in commercials for brands like Cocoa-Puffs, Pop-Tarts, and shoe sh*t. The man started before he knew what currency was and never put us through news stories of how coked out he became due to not being able to handle the fame. Props for that, no?
Ryan Gosling was born in London, Ontario to good working class folk. His parents divorced when he was still a child and he and his sister remained with their mother, this put him into the mindset of "thinking like a girl." No wonder he is such a pimp. Gosling was picked on in school until he was about 16. In first grade, he took a stand under the influence of Rambo: First Blood by bringing steak knives to school and throwing them at the pukes who were f*cking with him. This led to a suspension and a stamp of bad ass for the rest of his life. Oh, and he had a stint in the Mickey Mouse Club. Extra points.
Sex Appeal
JGL you're no slouch buddy. You photogenic bastard you. You have chosen some awesome roles to tackle, you've been pushed around by Zooey Deschanel, and you got to mack down on Ellen Page with slicked back hair. The evidence of your studliness will be addressed in one of the categories below. And I'm a man that can appreciate a good smile from any gender, and dude.
There is something about that Notebook movie that has etched him into the minds of females (and some males no doubt) everywhere. Gosling just seems like an every man trapped in all kinds of glorious I'll admit. He has portrayed one of the most realistic romantic leads I've ever seen and recently gave us a bad ass role to be remembered in Drive, that movie was where MY man crush came in.
Filmography
Angels in the Outfield, 10 Things I Hate About You, Treasure Planet, Brick, The Lookout, Miracle at St. Anna, 500 Days of Summer, Hesher, Inception, 50/50. Impressive, most impressive.
Remember the Titans, Murder By Numbers, The Notebook, Half Nelson, All Good Things, Blue Valentine, Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, Ides of March among others. A few of these I haven't seen. And I love me some Treasure Planet, Brick, and 500 Days of Summer. JGL joins the race.
Awards
JGL has won 6 awards throughout his career. Notable wins for 3rd Rock from the Sun, Inception, and 50/50. Don't worry man Gosling won this on a technicality, the world loves that Notebook movie
Our man Gosling has 16 wins under his belt, the majority of which are for...well, do you really need me to tell you?
Arm Candy
Julia Stiles, Larisa Oleynik, Evan Rachel Wood, Devon Aoki, Megan Good, and a rumored make out session with Scarlett Johansson. I repeat...Scarlett Johansson. If I wasn't such an admirer of your talent I'd hate you sir.
Sandra Bullock, Rachel McAdams, Kat Dennings, Casey LaBow, Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, and currently Eva Mendes. Bravo good sir, bravo.
Upcoming Projects
The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Lincoln, and Django Unchained. Nuff said.
The Gangster Squad and Place Beyond the Pines is what awaits us for the Ryan Gosling camp. Can't lie I'm pumped to see both of these.
Acting Ability
This is what this face/off should be all about, yes? JGL has never been afraid to take on the meatier roles in movies he probably knows will be lesser known than some. He has made even the films I've seen that I am not very fond of better just by gracing it with his presence (Stop-Loss). You can tell he has faith in the scripts he chooses and his taste is I have to say akin to what I would look for if I chose his career. His enthusiasm for his projects is evident any performance I've ever seen him in. His talent can't be denied.
Ryan Gosling is much like JGL in his passion for doing what he does. He is also a lot like Levitt in his script choices, he has portrayed so many deep characters. Many that I can relate to in a way. His recent turn in the film Blue Valentine choked this jackass up and to take a complete 360 and portray "The Driver" convincingly to the point of don't f*ck with this guy...this is a little thing we call range and versatility. And well...not all have it.
Ryan Gosling
Even though I chose Ryan Gosling to win this Face/Off is needless to say no reflection on the talent that Joseph Gordon-Levitt possesses in spades. A lot of the above categories were just statistics when it came down to it but hey, somebody had to win. Both are deserving of the fame and the admiration they've garnered from the public and the critics. I look forward to more from both of them and know they'll keep giving us the goods. But with that said for the sake of this article..GO GOSLING, GO GOSLING, GO!!!

POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW...!!
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12:48PM on 02/18/2012

Idiot

You mean he took a complete 180. Not 360. Moron.
You mean he took a complete 180. Not 360. Moron.
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5:16PM on 02/17/2012

...

cut. print. gay.
cut. print. gay.
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+1
6:40AM on 02/17/2012
Sorry, but I look at Gosling, yawn, and promptly fall asleep whenever he's in a role. He's man-pretty, but he's far from being the actor that JGL has become. Plus, ScarJo is worth Wilde, Mendes, and Lively put together.
Sorry, but I look at Gosling, yawn, and promptly fall asleep whenever he's in a role. He's man-pretty, but he's far from being the actor that JGL has become. Plus, ScarJo is worth Wilde, Mendes, and Lively put together.
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2:55AM on 02/17/2012

Filmography...

Giving credit to JGL (who is a great actor by the way but, as someone mentioned before, better in ensembles) for Inception and not even mentioning Fracture for Gosling... Really? JGL has supporting roles in so many of his movies while Gosling is consistently chosen as the main Star carrying the movies on his shoulders. In my opinion Fracture and Drive alone put Gosling ahead in this department too.
Giving credit to JGL (who is a great actor by the way but, as someone mentioned before, better in ensembles) for Inception and not even mentioning Fracture for Gosling... Really? JGL has supporting roles in so many of his movies while Gosling is consistently chosen as the main Star carrying the movies on his shoulders. In my opinion Fracture and Drive alone put Gosling ahead in this department too.
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8:32PM on 02/16/2012
Hey, I love 'em both.
Hey, I love 'em both.
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+8
2:26PM on 02/16/2012
JGL better in ensembles...Gosling better carrying a film on his own...but both great actors, nonetheless
JGL better in ensembles...Gosling better carrying a film on his own...but both great actors, nonetheless
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+11
1:45PM on 02/16/2012
I've always been partial to JGL, probably because I've seen a lot more of his movies. Probably a minority here, but I really liked JGL in Killshot, he does a great job portraying a complete prick.
I've always been partial to JGL, probably because I've seen a lot more of his movies. Probably a minority here, but I really liked JGL in Killshot, he does a great job portraying a complete prick.
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3:04PM on 02/16/2012
yeah, he was good in that but the movie itself was really shitty
yeah, he was good in that but the movie itself was really shitty
1:09PM on 02/16/2012

JGL

Just seems like someone I could relate to plus I have enjoyed every single film hes in.

Gosling, granted might possess decent acting skills, his movies are all hit or miss for me. Mostly misses.
Just seems like someone I could relate to plus I have enjoyed every single film hes in.

Gosling, granted might possess decent acting skills, his movies are all hit or miss for me. Mostly misses.
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1:09PM on 02/16/2012
It hurt to read this because they're (literally) both my favorite actors. Good article.
It hurt to read this because they're (literally) both my favorite actors. Good article.
Your Reply:



-11
1:08PM on 02/16/2012

imo

Gosling
Gosling
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12:57PM on 02/16/2012

Slight objective edge to Gosling

JGL is awesome. Dude's basically already had a 20-year acting career. Posessing the kind of veteran, experienced talent that other iconic actors had at 50 or 60. Really unlike any other child [link] staple.

But Gosling seems a bit better primed to carry movies on his own and create unique, memorable characters. 'Drive' doesn't work if he's not bringing that full throttle quiet 'Charles Bronson in a David Lynch film' swagger. JGL will soon be there, but for the most part its been ensemble or
JGL is awesome. Dude's basically already had a 20-year acting career. Posessing the kind of veteran, experienced talent that other iconic actors had at 50 or 60. Really unlike any other child [link] staple.

But Gosling seems a bit better primed to carry movies on his own and create unique, memorable characters. 'Drive' doesn't work if he's not bringing that full throttle quiet 'Charles Bronson in a David Lynch film' swagger. JGL will soon be there, but for the most part its been ensemble or buddy movies he's getting accolades for.
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12:51PM on 02/16/2012

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

JGL all the way!
JGL all the way!
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+2
12:33PM on 02/16/2012

Gosling

I like both of them but Gosling has clearly had the better career thus far. You should definitely check out more of his movies, like The Believer and Lars and then make a judgement whether the man has range. He really does, the sudden outburst of popularity is kinda hurting him right now, but he really does have a lot of talent. Not saying JGL doesn't but he really didn't wow me since probably Mysterious Skin or Manic. He does select equally good projects as Gosling though, both of them have a
I like both of them but Gosling has clearly had the better career thus far. You should definitely check out more of his movies, like The Believer and Lars and then make a judgement whether the man has range. He really does, the sudden outburst of popularity is kinda hurting him right now, but he really does have a lot of talent. Not saying JGL doesn't but he really didn't wow me since probably Mysterious Skin or Manic. He does select equally good projects as Gosling though, both of them have a great hand at it at their age.
Oh and I would also put a tie in upcoming projects - Gosling also has Only God Forgives (a Refn reunion) and a Malick flick up his sleeve
As for their sex appeal or arm candy I really couldn't care less
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12:13PM on 02/16/2012

Really?

I love JoBlo as much as the next Schmo but seriously, these articles are awful. Having 'versus' discussions can be fun, but usually when there's two writers with differing opinions pitted against each other...the method chosen here is, nothing against Huffman, really fucking silly, because you say something about 'statistics' but at the end of the day it's still a wholly subjective decision on the writer's part. It'd be way more interesting to read - and frankly less insulting - if you chose
I love JoBlo as much as the next Schmo but seriously, these articles are awful. Having 'versus' discussions can be fun, but usually when there's two writers with differing opinions pitted against each other...the method chosen here is, nothing against Huffman, really fucking silly, because you say something about 'statistics' but at the end of the day it's still a wholly subjective decision on the writer's part. It'd be way more interesting to read - and frankly less insulting - if you chose two writers with contrasting viewpoints on films/actors/whatever and had them go back-and-forth, rather than a single person saying, "This guy's great, but hey, so is this guy!" I love Gosling and JGL and found this to be pretty patronizing in all honesty.
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2:10PM on 02/16/2012
Part of the "fun" of these articles is that exactly that. It's ONE MAN'S OPINION, yet you all get to read it and decide on your own below. If you don't like the columns, you can also skip them altogether, but generally most movie fans LOVE to debate different movies, actors and such. The writer is just ONE PERSON'S OPINION, hence the big POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW below the article.
Part of the "fun" of these articles is that exactly that. It's ONE MAN'S OPINION, yet you all get to read it and decide on your own below. If you don't like the columns, you can also skip them altogether, but generally most movie fans LOVE to debate different movies, actors and such. The writer is just ONE PERSON'S OPINION, hence the big POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW below the article.
12:27PM on 02/16/2012
then again, this is why we have a strikeback section
then again, this is why we have a strikeback section
11:18AM on 02/16/2012
For me it's a tie. I'd love to see a movie with those two in it.
For me it's a tie. I'd love to see a movie with those two in it.
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11:09AM on 02/16/2012

JGL...

Gotta go with JGL here, he hasn't done anything that I haven't enjoyed watching. In regards to Gosling, I still have the bad taste in my mouth from watching "All Good Things" which was a complete and utter turd IMHO...
Gotta go with JGL here, he hasn't done anything that I haven't enjoyed watching. In regards to Gosling, I still have the bad taste in my mouth from watching "All Good Things" which was a complete and utter turd IMHO...
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11:05AM on 02/16/2012
Does Arm Candy imply that JGL is dating Scarlett Johansson or just working with her? Because according to most press and paparazzi these days, she's dating an ad exec.
Does Arm Candy imply that JGL is dating Scarlett Johansson or just working with her? Because according to most press and paparazzi these days, she's dating an ad exec.
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11:14AM on 02/16/2012
I was referring to the rumored canoodling between the two last year. Of course it's all heresay. But if it's true, those props are due :).
I was referring to the rumored canoodling between the two last year. Of course it's all heresay. But if it's true, those props are due :).
10:35AM on 02/16/2012
I have to say, this is the best Face-off yet. I still am torn in this one, these are the two best maturing talents currently. JGL impresses me each time I see him, and how cool was it that he took the role of Cobra Commander. Gosling has really stepped his game, Lars and the Real girl and Drive really showed his diversity. Wow, so torn but growing up 3rd Rock from the Sun was one of my favorite show, so I feel kinda invested in JGL.
I have to say, this is the best Face-off yet. I still am torn in this one, these are the two best maturing talents currently. JGL impresses me each time I see him, and how cool was it that he took the role of Cobra Commander. Gosling has really stepped his game, Lars and the Real girl and Drive really showed his diversity. Wow, so torn but growing up 3rd Rock from the Sun was one of my favorite show, so I feel kinda invested in JGL.
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10:24AM on 02/16/2012

I love JGL but...

I'll have to give this one to Gosling. Both have some amazing indie movies and JGL's film Brick is one of my all-time favourites, but I give this to Gosling because I think he's had a really big year with Drive, Ides of March and Crazy Stupid Love. OH, and major points to Gosling for his very early role in the TV series Breaker High.
I'll have to give this one to Gosling. Both have some amazing indie movies and JGL's film Brick is one of my all-time favourites, but I give this to Gosling because I think he's had a really big year with Drive, Ides of March and Crazy Stupid Love. OH, and major points to Gosling for his very early role in the TV series Breaker High.
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+17
10:23AM on 02/16/2012
These are arguably the best actors born between 1980-81. It would take too much time to argue their merits against all others. Gosling is definitely more of a stud, but I'll have to go with Gordon-Levitt for coming off as just a fun guy to hang out with. Gosling can be kind of pretentious in interviews. JGL just shows a great passion for his work that endears me to him. That's not saying Gosling is any worse for it.
These are arguably the best actors born between 1980-81. It would take too much time to argue their merits against all others. Gosling is definitely more of a stud, but I'll have to go with Gordon-Levitt for coming off as just a fun guy to hang out with. Gosling can be kind of pretentious in interviews. JGL just shows a great passion for his work that endears me to him. That's not saying Gosling is any worse for it.
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+13
7:41AM on 02/16/2012

Very close faceoff

I would probably give childhood to Lewitt for appearing on one of the funniest comedies of that time (3rd Rock From The Sun) and give filmography to Gosling, he was brilliant in The Believer and Lars And The Real Girl aswell as several of the movies mentioned.
I would probably give childhood to Lewitt for appearing on one of the funniest comedies of that time (3rd Rock From The Sun) and give filmography to Gosling, he was brilliant in The Believer and Lars And The Real Girl aswell as several of the movies mentioned.
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