Monday, 24 January 2011

Blue Valentine


Dir: Derek Cianfrance (Brother Tied)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
USA, 2011

Seen: January 11, 2011 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: Acclaim and I have been impressed with both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

I was expecting Blue Valentine to be a quirky art-house like romance from the quirky relationship-centric trailer, but it turns out it's more like living through really real relationship pains. The isn't quite to my personal likely, but I hold true to the fact that the acting by the duo of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling is absolutely extraordinary.

The film has a very naturalistic feel to it, set in the everyday lives and activities of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle William), with a perfect pace and tone as it unfolds the story of their relationship. It's also rather clever as the story is told in a often non-linear fashion, but you always are confident of exactly where they are, what they are doing and why. So kudos where they are due and I applaud the writing and editing, on top of the acting.

My one, big, caveat is that I didn't enjoy watching the film. Any time we get a glimmer of hope, it circles back to the pain of the relationship giving it an ever-present ominous feeling which completely suits the film but I found quite a lot to sit through. It's not that it didn't feel real - it always did, every moment, every second of the film feels real. But it was so real, and so painful.

I'm not surprized to see Blue Valentine get nominated for several awards as it really does deserve, I just wish I had liked it more. It's quite unsettling on several levels, and I'm sure there many things people will find uncomfortable but if you are into really heart wrenching relationship films this is one you won't want to miss. Oddly, I don't regret seeing it at all as just for Ryan Gosling amazing performance it was worth enduring. Similar to Half-Nelson, it's his performance that knocks the film up from great to astonishing.

Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it, but I appreciated the amazing acting
I may watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of naturalistic acting and emotionally 'real' films

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

1 comment:

Franco Macabro said...

I love movies with that kind of realism, I think I will be enjoying this one even though it seems like a bitter movie to watch. Curiously, I was looking at this films poster during my lunch break (the arthouse theater is right on the same building where I work! Lucky me!)

Looking forward to it!

All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012