Blue Valentine

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance (“Brother Tied”)
Written by: Derek Cianfrance (“Brother Tied”), Cami Delavigne (debut), Joey Curtis (“Brother Tied”)

As difficult as it is to watch at times, the contemporary relationship drama “Blue Valentine” doesn’t come without reward.

In “Blue Valentine,” Academy Award nominees Ryan Gosling (“Half Nelson”) and Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain”) play Dean and Cindy, a hopeless couple on marital life support. The lack of intimacy between husband and wife is uncomfortable. Even taking a shower together is a searing reminder that there’s nothing left to salvage.

Written as an uncompromising nonlinear narrative (think “500 Days of Summer” with a mean streak), director/screenwriter Derek Cianfrance puts emphasis on the dysfunctional interaction between its emotionally-depleted characters. By doing this, he allows Gosling and Williams to lumber through this loveless marriage with so much attention to detail in every move and expression they make.

“Blue Valentine” features characters at their emotional low points. It’s almost as if they are addicted to each other’s unhappiness. Watching this unfold is both depressing and gripping. With heart-wrenching performances by the leads and an intensely affecting script, “Blue Valentine” proves that misery truly does love company.