53: Blue Valentine (still more Gosling)

Blue Valentine – December 29, 2010
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Written by: Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, Cami Delavigne
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance

The plot: “The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.” – IMDB

My thoughts: Well I’m sufficiently depressed to say the very least. I knew I would be going into the film, and yet I’m still a bit surprised at how much I feel like wallowing in two fictional character’s misery.

I’m going to keep this review brief because God knows there have been a billion of these reviews about how “real” and “brutally honest” this movie is and they’re right. The movie is scarily realistic and effective. And it’s not even that the story is that original – in fact, it’s anything but. This is something that people go through every single day. Couples fall in love and fall out of love. They try to repair the relationship and they give up. They do things they’re not proud of.

Gosling and Williams are great in the movie. I read a few factoids about how they lived together for a month to “age” themselves and to learn to pick fights with each other and it seems like it helped. I also read that Cianfrance asked them to improvise a lot of their dialogue which I think helped to make the movie believable and real. People don’t fight with eloquent speeches and perfectly timed breakdowns. They don’t have montage sex. And things aren’t always tidy in real life. They’re speech is simple and exactly what anyone would expect from a couple who’s relationship is crumbling.

I really enjoyed the movie, though I’m not sure that that’s quite the right word for a movie like this. I appreciated it? Understood it? Felt it? It’s definitely depressing so don’t watch it if you’re looking for something romantic or if you’re going through a rough patch with a significant other or you’ve just broken up.

Phew, I’m going to need a cinematic pick-me-up to recover from that.

Stars: 5/5


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