112 Min. | Drama – Romance | December 2010
IMDB Rating: 7.4
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Staring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
Blue Valentine Review: Director Derek Cianfrance may wish to stop wasting his talent on TV and make films his full time occupation. Cinema could use him. His ‘Blue Valentine’ studies the breakdown of a marriage through beautiful and heartbreaking juxtaposed scenes of past joy and optimism with present scenes of misery and depression. Flitting back and forth in the marriage, it asks, is romantic love the ultimate form of masochism? Fine young actors Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play Dean and Cindy, who unite through a dogged courtship. Dean is easy-going, happy-go-lucky and content in his removal and packing company. He is chary of formal education, but has a philosopher’s outlook. In Blue Valentine, Cindy is sexually over-active and, although occasionally frolicsome, is more mature than Dean. About five years on, romance becomes repulsion, and their marriage becomes one of inconvenience.
Make no mistake, this is uncomfortable viewing – not the sex, which serves the story quite well – but the paranoia, pettiness and pugnacity in the couple’s interaction. In Blue Valentine, they reach their nadir when he practically begs for affection, and she pleads with him to be more ambitious. No two actors have complemented each other this well for some time. In an age where vapid acting is vogue, Gosling is a novelty. He is very charming, yet he has a mournful countenance, and possesses a James Dean-like vulnerability. Dean’s philosophical outpourings may be interpreted by some as drivel, but more sensitive viewers will detect the shattering honesty. A memorable maxim, ‘girls spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then marry the guy who’s got a good job and is gunna stick around.’
We go to the movies – many of us – to escape real life. Comfortable as voyeurs, we let our favourite stars distract us and we forget our worries. But ‘Blue Valentine’ shows a truth no cinema can shield us from. It mustn’t be missed.
Blue Valentine, got some heat over one scene (rating wise there was some problem in the USA), but if you see it in context, it does make sense. It does hurt, but it makes sense. You should also watch out for the time-line. Though it can be easily followed (hairline), but it might confuse you for a second there. Overall, Blue Valentine is a Great movie with great actors!