I actually found the opposite to be true. I actually felt for his character even though I know very a little about him. I have had the problem recently where I do not care about any character in the movie and it makes the movie meaningless to me. I think that Gosling's character was easy to like because he said very little allowing yourself to imagine what you wanted him to be like and the fact that he seemed to be nice to the family. I thought the movie was very well cast. It kind of had a Infernal Affairs feel to me as far as the character development, but I have not watched that in a while so maybe I am wrong?