Superb performances make this - MicealJ
In America if a film gets rated as “NC-17” (which forbids anyone under the age of 17 from seeing it) it is the kiss of death at the box office. Consequently the studios will immediately do all in their power to get the rating reduced to the standard “R” which means anyone can see it provided they are accompanied by an adult. This usually means making major cuts to the film and resubmitting it. The alternative route is to appeal the rating which is what the makers of “Blue Valentine” did and won, albeit with strong warnings attached.
“Blue Valentine” certainly is an adult film. By that I mean it's a film for adults. This is not a sweet and pretty love story but a harsh tale of a couple struggling to prevent their marriage from falling apart. It cuts back and forth in time showing how they got together in the first place and how they are now drifting away from each other. Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) leave their young daughter Frankie with Cindy's father for a weekend and go to a motel to try and ignite some spark into their tired relationship but they can't stop bickering and getting on each other's nerves. When they first meet she is attracted to his carefree attitude now she is depressed by his lack of ambition while he in turn is frustrated by her commitment to her own career. As the flashbacks continue we see the early causes of their current problems most especially why Dean is freaked out when Cindy mentions she has bumped into an old boyfriend in the supermarket.
Plot wise that's pretty much it but any more than that would be a distraction from what is essentially a gripping observation of two people in love – who can't stand to be together anymore. It is made all the more compelling by the superb performances of the two leads who attract sympathy and enmity in equal measure throughout. Highly recommended but not as a first date movie!
Review published on the 24 January 2011 09:14
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