If ever you are feeling too happy and feel the need to regulate your mood then watch Blue Valentine. Though you have probably seen many films about the ending of romantic relationships, but this is one of the more heart wrenching ones you’ll ever experience. That is because it is so realistic. Most romantic films are very unrealistic and as such you cannot really make a link. Every single moment, word or image in this film is honest. Raw, but honest. Painful to watch, but realistic. If you are brave enough embark on this journey with Dean and Cindy. A journey of love’s beginning and ending.
A script is just words. Words on a page. Those words are brought to life by the actors involved. The two main actors in Blue Valentine are two of the best of their era working today. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams bring Dean and Cindy to life. Both bring to the screen fully realized characters that are raw and honest. Totally relatable.
Moving back and forth in time the story of the love between Dean (Ryan Gosling – La La Land, Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Cindy (Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn, Brokeback Mountain) unfolds before us. How they met, when they fell in love and how it ends.
After having a child together (or do they?), Dean and Cindy fall into the rhythm of a life together or a marriage. Slowly, over time, they begin to fall apart. There is no connection remaining. Dean decides in a last ditch effort to save the marriage for the two of them to spend a night together, alone, in a hotel. This in an effort to recapture what brought them together in the first place.
The couple’s past is filled with joy and hopefulness while their present is unhappiness and depression. What elevates the film above others is its avoidance of clichés. The lack of spoonfeeding all the answers or ins and outs of the couple’s life also keeps you fully engaged.
A highly recommended watch. Not just because of the honesty or strong performances, but because of how it will stay with you a long time afterwards. The type of film that will have you thinking about it long after the credits roll. It will have you going to your friends, partner and family to discuss it. Many issues for discussion and questions will be raised.
Laughing, smiling, crying….all these things will be experienced while watching director and co-screenwriter Derek Cianfrance’s (The Light Between Oceans, The Place Beyond the Pines) excellent film. The only warning I can give you going in is to not see this one on a first date.
-Feature Commentary with Director Derek Cianfrance and Co-Editor Jim Helton
-The Making of Blue Valentine
-“Frankie and the Unicorn” (Home Movie)