The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.
Just think of "Blue Valentine" as a independent or poor man's version of "Revolutionary Road" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. "Blue Valentine," as I stated in the above, is a very independent film. Cindy and Dean portray the average blue collar American couple. From the trailer, you don't really know what the film is about besides the fact that there will be a random and somewhat humorous song and dance number by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in the film. The movie is about falling in and out of love. It shows you how once you begin to live life, work, and have a child how life changes and not always for the better. It's a very raw and in your face kind of film. Why this film got slapped with an NC-17 rating is beyond me? There are some realistic love scenes in the film, however, nothing to raw that warrants that harsh of a rating. I don't get why MPAA got so tough on this film.
I always enjoy Ryan Gosling in his independent projects and this one is no different. He was a really good hipster in this film. Without giving too much away from the film, there is one scene where him and Williams are arguing and the emotion is so real and powerful. Gosling hasn't been this solid in a film since "The Believer." As for Michelle Williams, well she is another great actress. I always enjoyed her work but like Gosling, she hasn't really had many mainstream hits. I think Williams is a talented independent actress but I don't know if she will ever be a huge scarlet. It's OK though because a lot of the best actors and actresses never make their way to being huge leads. Williams will hopefully be noticed this year for her performance in this film.
This film was written by three different people and when there are normally more than two writers attached to a project, I tend to worry. Why it took three people to write such a simple screenplay seems odd but maybe Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, and Cami Delavigne put a little bit of their relationship experience in the screenplay. I don't know for sure but this looked and felt like a realistic story at times like the writers had a similar experience. Gosling's character seemed a bit out there and was never really explained that well in the film. I didn't quite get why they didn't do a better background on his character. Also, there was no middle of the relationship. It seemed to jump from good to bad and that hurt the chemistry of the two leads. Cianfrance also directed the film. He had some really good scenes where he captured the emotions of the characters perfectly but than others where he didn't do so well. Also, it should be stated that most of the scenes in the film were written and then shot flashback to the present. It fit the film well and helped overlook some of the relationship potholes in the film.
Overall, "Blue Valentine" was a depressing, heart wrenching, and well acted piece of cinema. It didn't blow my mind as much as I would have liked it too but than again maybe I was expecting too much from a film with an 8 million dollar budget. As previously stated, "Blue Valentine" can simply be summed up as a poor man's version of "Revolutionary Road." With no disrespect to Williams or Gosling, Kate and Leo pulled the trouble relationship off better. While Gosling and Williams were both extremely believable at times and showcased some raw emotion, their chemistry wasn't as strong as the I would have liked I think as the characters got older, they just seemed so different from one another. Gosling got so weird as he got older and since it wasn't truly explained why, the film lost points for that. I think the big missing element was the storyline in the middle of the relationship, which was there but not detailed. The story seemed to go from bad to good with no middle. This was the film's weakness and why the two leads didn't have has good of chemistry at times. If you can ignore a few missing plot holes and try not to focus on the inconsistency of the two leads chemistry with one another than I would say you should really be able to appreciate the film. I am trying not to be too harsh because I did enjoy the film a lot and it featured some terrific scenes even if they were extremely depressing.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Blue Valentine" is a 7 out of 10. Not the best film of the year but definitely a realistic and raw look at relationships.
- Oct 24, 2010