Magnifying the extremes of two different lovers in one crumbling relationship, “Blue Valentine” is a gripping film that has generated plenty of buzz this awards season.
The film follows the marriage of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), a struggling blue-collar couple holding on to what remains of their relationship for the sake of their daughter Frankie.
Flashbacks throughout the film depict the evolution of the couple’s deteriorating relationship. Williams embodies both the promiscuous, free-spirited Cindy in the past and the cold, unsatisfied wife in the present. Gosling plays a young teen fighting for the attention of vibrant Williams turned hopeless drunk burdened by his rocky marriage. Their ability to mold into different characters shows their versatility as actors, aiding the film’s use of flashbacks to tell how their marriage fell apart.
The developed characterization in “Blue Valentine” makes viewers sympathize with the drama. The actors’ chemistry onscreen makes the dialogue authentic and creates emotional investment in the couple’s rocky relationship. The audience is not watching a fairy tale; they are living the characters’ tragedy.
“Blue Valentine” is a powerful modern-day love story that showcases two dynamic counterparts whose raw and riveting acting make this a must-see film.
“Blue Valentine” was written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
3 out of 4 stars