A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
Cal and Aaron are two brothers whose relationship is clearly very troubled. Cal forms a friendship with a young man, Cassius, from a very different background (including the fact that he is... See full summary »
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city.
Dean Pereira and Cindy Heller Pereira are a young, working class married couple - Dean currently working as a painter, and Cindy working as a nurse in a medical clinic - with a young daughter named Frankie. Despite their relatively tender ages, they are both ravaged by the life they've eked out together and by the experiences they've had leading into their marriage. Dean, a high school drop out, comes from a broken home, where he never really had a mother figure. He never saw himself getting married or having a family despite falling in love at first sight with Cindy. He doesn't have any professional ambition beyond his current work - which he enjoys since he feels he can knock off a beer at 8 o'clock in the morning without it affecting his work - although Cindy believes he has so much more potential in life. Cindy also comes from a dysfunctional family, with her own mother and father not setting an example of a harmonious married or family life. One of her previous serious ... Written by
One of the most powerful, surprising Romance films of the last few years is Blue Valentine, the debut film by Derek Cianfrance, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The controversy surrounding the film was that it was originally released with an NC-17 rating, because of one scene. It eventually was able to obtain a normal R rating thanks to the Weinstein company, who released the film.
Blue Valentine tells the story of Dean and Cindy, a married couple who's marriage is crumbling. In their every-day routine we see in the beginning of the film, there's an obvious communication void between the couple. After their dog is found dead, Dean decides to leave their young daughter at Cindy's father's house, while he and his wife go spend the night in a cheap sex motel, trying to get away from their routine; but all of the couple's problems arise with full force. In parallel, there's the story of how Dean and Cindy met, how they started going out despite Cindy having a boyfriend and being in college, while Dean was working.
Most Romance films tend to glamorize the relationship of the protagonists, but here, it's just a romance of an everyman and every-woman, with a small beginning and an end, both characters with realistic flaws. The two actors are directed subtly, yet with great precision, by Derek Cianfrance: in the latter-day scenes, the two protagonists are rarely seen in the same shot, showing their emotional distance, while in the scenes where they're young and in love, they're almost always seen together in the same frame, inseparable, and sharing the same space.
The director once stated that he didn't want to create a world surrounding the characters, but create the characters and let the real world enter in their lives. It's a film beautifully contained in its structure, and told with beautiful sobriety and rawness, especially in the Romantic intimacies, which gave the film the scandalous NC-17 rating in the first place.
But what really makes the film so special is the amazing chemistry between Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, both of them delivering great performances, especially Williams: as a mom, Cindy looks over-stressed, with messy hair and with a dead gaze, and is utterly convincing, and then as a student she looks young, beautiful, and a completely different person overall. But Gosling also shows a noticeable and admirable physical transformation: as a husband and father, he's a semi-bald, average looking father, with a drinking problem, while as a young man he's handsome and likable.
We want to see the story end like it begun chronologically, but this is a realistic movie, that deals with the vulnerability and durability of love and of the difficulties of maintaining a marriage: there's no room for glamor. Special nod to Grizzly Bear's wonderfully quiet, yet very melodic score.
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