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A Psychoanalytic Look at "Lars and the Real Girl" Contributed by Margaret Jordan, PhD



The 2007 film Lars and the Real Girl serves as a fine introduction to the enduring insights of British psychologist D.W. Winnicott, in this review by psychoanalytic psychologist Margaret Jordan. A PSYCHOANALYTIC LOOK AT LARS AND THE REAL GIRLMargaret Jordan, PhD | Visit her website at www.drmargaretjordan.comThe following comments were made in a post-screening discussion of the film Lars and the Real Girl in a program sponsored by The Jung Center of Houston and the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Society on August 27, 2009. The film is the story of the way a troubled young man, Lars, used a life-sized female doll for healing, with the help of a local doctor and the people in his small town. I’d like to begin our discussion of this evening’s film by asking, “What do we know about Lars?”, and then we’ll move on to “Why is he like this?” and “What made it possible for him to get better?” I’ll propose some answers to these questions with a little help from psychoanalysis, and the British analyst Donald Winnicott, in particular. Lars is a 27-year-old man who lives in a community that is a lot like what I imagine Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon to be. People of hardy Scandinavian stock and non-Scandinavians alike brave the cold winter, do their work, attend the Lutheran church, and more or less treat each other decently. We know that Lars’ mother died at the time of his birth, and that his father then slipped into what sounds like a state of depression that lasted until his death a few years ago. We don’t know who took care of Lars or how he was raised, but we know that his older brothe

Year: 2010
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