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Blue Valentine

A film staring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

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Blue Is a Serious Understatement

  • Dec 31, 2010
Rating:
+3
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 to BLUE VALENTINE in regards to the worse part.  Novice feature filmmaker, Derek Cianfrance’s latest is a very particular snapshot of a very specific place in a relationship that far too many people know far too well.  And only few of those people live to tell the tale with their wits still about them.  In reality, this space is an incredibly difficult test of the mind, the spirit and the heart and every effort is usually made to avoid getting there.  It is one of the darkest stages a relationship can reach but Cianfrance is not the least bit afraid of the dark.
 
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, an indie dream couple if I’ve ever heard one before, are Dean and Cindy, a young couple with a little girl, living their married life in rural Pennsylvania.  They have been together for six years but those years have been far from kind.  At the moment we meet them, Dean is feeding his daughter breakfast while Cindy is getting ready for work – an ordinary morning for many a couple, I’m sure.  The difference here is that this kitchen is weighted down with a crushing tension that is evident in every look given and every word spoken.  She seems appalled by his every action and influence over their daughter and he seems to know it.  The room is rotten with the stench of hatred.
 
Dean and Cindy know they don’t have much time left and decide to get a room at a cheap motel in New York City for the night in hopes of working through their issues and rekindling their romance.  Their intentions are sincere but the fight is so insurmountable at times, they each struggle with their resolve.  Gosling, while somewhat overwrought in his character’s intensity, must be commended for the amount of evident effort he made to make Dean real and not just a bad husband.  That said, Williams is heartbreaking every moment she is on screen.  Even the manner in which she clasps her fists during one of the film’s many sexual moments is emotionally devastating.  Together, they genuinely feel like two people who have been oscillating between love and hate for years, so much so that it can be too much to take at times.
 
Cianfrance is a brave man for going to as many places of despair in BLUE VALENTINE as he does but he’s not stupid.  He knows that an audience needs to breathe so he tells the entire story of their relationship in moments so that we can see that there once was a time when these two knew happiness, that there is another reason other than their daughter that they are fighting to stay together.  The device is somewhat manipulative at times as its obvious point is to make us feel even worse that their relationship doesn’t seem to be salvageable.  BLUE VALENTINE did make me feel pretty bad.  I had been in some variation of that relationship in my life and it was hard enough to deal with then so, as fantastic as the film is in its most candid moments, I’m not sure everyone is ready to go back there again.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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December 31, 2010
Pretty good review and thanks for doing so w/out any spoilers at all! I need to see this, for some reason it reminds me of "Story of Us" and then it seems to have a different message. Thank you for the review!!
December 31, 2010
Thanks, man. You have to be a in a good head space to see this. If you're not, you might not survive. I haven't seen The Story of Us but I've heard decent things about it.
 
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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 . June 14, 2011
Nonlinear storytelling, whether in a novel or a film, challenges the reader/viewer with fragments of story scattered across time and coincidences in a way that can create disorientation: the payback is that this technique of relating a story allows an intimate examination of not only the characters of the tale but also an opportunity to turn the events inward, perhaps reviving memories, piecing together reasons for the present and the journey taken simultaneously with the development of the story. …
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 31, 2011
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 …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #23
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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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
First to Review

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