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Blue Valentine

A film staring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

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Blue Valentine

  • Jan 31, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+1
Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) are a married couple with a little girl named Frankie who looks to be about three or four. Cindy works as an ultrasound technician. Dean is a house-painter.

Dean is really good with Frankie, in part because he's still kind of a kid himself, and not in a good way. After agreeing with Frankie that the oatmeal Cindy made her looks disgusting, he plops spoonfuls of it all over the table and suggests that they eat the raisins "like tigers", slurping them up with their mouths. Cindy is forced into the role of "responsible parent", whether she wants to be or not; after all, someone has to be the one to clean up the messes.

Cindy no longer loves Dean, or maybe she just no longer likes him, or maybe both. Dean still loves Cindy but in a really whiny annoying way like a five-year-old. He insists that they spend a night at a "couples" motel, despite Cindy's protestations that she has to work the next morning. They wind up in the "future" room, which has a spinning bed and a spaceship motif. The future apparently features a lot of drinking and a lot of fighting.

The movie cuts back and forth between the present, where the couple's relationship sucks, and about four years earlier when they first met, where everything was great. This means it's about evenly split between fighting scenes and sex scenes, plus one charming ukulele/tap dancing scene which you've already seen if you've seen the preview.

I actually watched the first flashback scene without realizing it was a flashback scene and then was completely confused by the second flashback scene (which I DID realize was a flashback scene), which, without realizing there's already been a flashback, seemed to have major continuity errors. Luckily I was with someone who's able to identify flashback scenes without wavy lines or dates printed on the screen.

Apparently, in the older scenes, Dean has a lot more hair, which was obvious once it was pointed out to me. In the present, he has a major receding hairline and he always wears these stupid aviator transition glasses and he's got this mustache that looks like maybe it's meant to be ironic and he always wears this shirt with a giant eagle on it and he's never without a cigarette. Essentially, he's gone from a good-looking guy to a major dork. Actually, I'm actually not sure if he's supposed to be a dork or a hipster. It's kind of a fine line.

Dean's personality has taken an alcohol-fueled turn for the worse also. Younger Dean was kind and sweet and romantic; current Dean is a sulky, unpleasant, fight-picker. Cindy, who at one point aspired to be a doctor, is disappointed that Dean, a high school dropout with presumably a lot of untapped potential (the ukulele!) hasn't amounted to more. Cindy's disappointment is palpable.
Dean's reaction is volatile. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Many of the present-day scenes are extremely unpleasant to watch. Dean, in particular, is the sort of arguer who gets stuck on a phrase and just keeps saying it over and over. It's the "Are we there yet?" school of arguing. Just keep saying the same thing over and over until the other person sticks their head in the oven. And he prefaces everything he says with "baby". "Baby, stop it. Baby, stop it. Baby, stop it. Baby, stop it. Baby, stop it." He's like an insufferable child.

Cindy, on the other hand, seems so disgusted with Dean that she doesn't even pretend to respect him anymore. She doesn't want to argue. She just wants to be left alone.

The main question is, how did Cindy and Dean go from a happy, lovey-dovey, couple who were so into each other that the film initially got an NC-17 rating, to "Baby, stop it"... "Just leave me alone"? If there were any subtle hairstyle changes indicating the depiction of some intermediate time period, I failed to pick up on them. It's just then and now and nothing in between.

I also question why Cindy would be with such an immature loser like Dean in the first place. He did make one chivalrous knight-in-shining-armor move that apparently won her over, but for crying out loud, the warning signs were there all along. The guy climbs over a bridge railing in order to get Cindy to tell him something; coercion of secrets by threatening suicide should probably be considered a red flag.

Disintegrating marriages are never particularly pleasant movie fodder, but some films of this genre are more difficult to watch than others. I loved the far-superior "Rabbit Hole" but found parts of "Blue Valentine" so annoying as to be virtually unwatchable. The longer it went, the more I found myself channeling my inner Dean: "Can we go yet? Can we go yet? Can we go yet?"

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February 10, 2011
I'm not too interested in this one, and based on your final comments, I'll probably avoid it. I don't much like the plot/theme content anyways.
 
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More Blue Valentine reviews
review by . January 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
People Change and Feelings Change...Life in Marriage And Marriage In Life....
Love and Marriage. Life and Marriage. How about life and love in marriage? We’ve all heard the stories; why some couples make it and some don’t. I guess I would be lying if I said that director Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine” brings something new to the table as with films about the hardships of marriage. No, it doesn’t offer anything different, but I guess it is its familiar elements that makes it easily accessible and believable. For some reason, this film …
review by . January 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
It's a movie about life, or rather marriage, as they say. Is it really?   If marriages are like this, then it's uninspiring and one wonders why so many people are flocking to the church for the wedding of a lifetime! This year, Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting married. That's right, despite his parents' failed marriage. It shall be the wedding of 2011 for most people in the UK. That's sidetracking...      Anyway, Blue Valentine is not …
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     "Blue Valentine" is a film that speaks to me because it shares my exact philosophies and musings on the mere concepts of love and romance. I felt like I knew these two lovers within myself; which was a good feeling, even through their often times difficult-to-watch hardships. "Blue Valentine" will not be the easiest of films, but it's one of the strongest depictions of on-screen romance I've seen in quite some time. Love it or hate it; "Blue Valentine" does …
review by . January 18, 2011
BLUE VALENTINE is a low budget film, telling us about the beginning and end of a marriage. It stars Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams. The movie shows us "now" over the space of just a couple of days, as we see this couple along with their roughly 5 year old child, going through mundane tasks and the final arguments that lead to their split. The film also bounces back to the few weeks or months from their first meeting until the day they get married. We see them about 5 or 6 years younger, na├»ve …
review by . December 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
EXCELLENT ACTING
      BLUE VALENTINE      I came into this movie expecting nothing mainly because I didn't care enough about it. I hadn't heard to much about it when it came out so I didn't pay much attention to it. But after reading the review of this film from Sir William of Woopak I decided to give it a try. I am really glad I did now because the story is very real and the performances here are excellent.      The film follows Michelle Williams …
review by . December 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
“Blue Valentine” is about as perfect a film as any you’re likely to see. Even with the recent release of the brilliant “Rabbit Hole,” it’s been ages since I’ve seen a story so resonant with characters so real. Many wonderful films have taken life issues and heightened them for dramatic emphasis; this movie presents itself so authentically that, if it weren’t for the casting of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, I might have mistaken it for a work …
Quick Tip by . December 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Now there are moments that some may not want to see and this is not a particularly happy film. Still with all that said I still think it is worth a rental at least. Sure it may not be for every body but it just may be for you. So in the chance that is you, pick it up. This is a great flick with excellent acting.
review by . January 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was never going to have a happy ending, I knew that going in. All I kept hearing was that was the most depressing movie of all time. Knowing that I took this to be a classic who done it? Like most people I want a fall guy, I want to know what happened here. I want to know why these beautiful and crazy kids are doomed to fail.   Enter Ryan Gosling as the care-free Dean, i doubt he had too much going for him before this story starts and is not too worried about his future. While …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Without taking sides, Blue Valentine deals with extreme situations and draws parallel lines between his two main extreme opponents. The relationship between Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) evolves beautifully by covering touching issues and contrasts within the life of two once-lovers. It doesn't get too melodramatic, it doesn't get cheesy nor predictable and it juggles with the emotional core of the movie. Dean is a low-educated guy, who is ruled only by his …
review by . December 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Blue Is a Serious Understatement
BLUE VALENTINE   Written by Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne   Directed by Derek Cianfrance   Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams       Cindy: How do you trust your feelings when they can just disappear like that?   Gramma: I think the only way to find out is to have those feelings.       When they say, “For better of for worse,” in wedding vows, I believe they are referring …
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Blue Valentine
is a 2010 American romantic drama film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance that premiered in competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It is co-written by Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne and stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The film was scored by Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear.
 
The film centers on a married couple, Dean and Cindy, and their relationship over a number of years by shifting between different time periods. Problems with the marriage centre around Cindy's ambition, juxtaposed to Dean's contentment to centre his life around his wife and child.
 
The script recently won the Chrysler Film Project, a competition that awards cash to an outstanding new feature film director, selected from over 550 submissions from across the country, overseen by Independent Feature Project, and evaluated by a panel of eminent film industry professionals.
 
The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It will be distributed by The Weinstein Company, and set for a limited release on December 31, 2010 in USA. The movie will be released earlier in Australia on December 23, 2010.
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Details

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Genre: Drama, Romance
Release Date: Dec. 31, 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Think Films
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