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.
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
The past scenes were shot entirely with a hand-held camera and often in just one take, Derek Cianfrance said, to create space around the characters and allow them to come together to fill the frame. See more »
When Dean is decorating Walter's room for him, he hangs the U.S. flag incorrectly. The flag should be hung with the union (the blue section) on the left, even when hung vertically. See more »
Tell me how I should be. Just tell me. I'll do it.
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The initial credits, showing major cast and crew, play over a montage of stills from the film and clips of fireworks. See more »
Director Derek Cianfrance may wish to stop wasting his talent on TV and make films his full time occupation. Cinema could use him. His 'Blue Valentine' studies the breakdown of a marriage through beautiful and heartbreaking juxtaposed scenes of past joy and optimism with present scenes of misery and depression. Flitting back and forth in the marriage, it asks: Is romantic love the ultimate form of masochism?
Fine young actors Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play Dean and Cindy, who unite through a dogged courtship. Dean is easy-going, happy-go-lucky and content in his removal and packing company. He is chary of formal education, but has a philosopher's outlook. Cindy is sexually over-active and, although occasionally frolicsome, is more mature than Dean. About five years on, romance becomes repulsion, and their marriage becomes one of inconvenience.
Make no mistake, this is uncomfortable viewing – not the sex, which serves the story quite well – but the paranoia, pettiness and pugnacity in the couple's interaction. They reach their nadir when he practically begs for affection, and she pleads with him to be more ambitious.
No two actors have complemented each other this well for some time. In an age where vapid acting is vogue, Gosling is a novelty. He is very charming, yet he has a mournful countenance, and possesses a James Dean-like vulnerability. He'd be my poster-on-the-wall if I were 13.
I can't get that entrancing scene where Dean serenades Cindy out of my head. Dean's philosophical outpourings may be interpreted by some as drivel, but more sensitive viewers will detect the shattering honesty. A memorable maxim: 'Girls spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then marry the guy who's got a good job and is gunna stick around.'
We go to the movies – many of us – to escape real life. Comfortable as voyeurs, we let our favourite stars distract us and we forget our worries. But 'Blue Valentine' shows a truth no cinema can shield us from. It mustn't be missed.
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