By Kyle Hintz. Published March 14, 2011.
Blue Valentine, directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, is a juxtaposition of the past and present in the marriage of Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams). Aside from The Social Network, this is the best film of the year. It calls to mind the raw and powerful films of John Cassavetes with frequent use of claustrophobic camera work putting us right in the thick of things along with, and especially, an astonishingly honest script which captures the addled state wherein we all live.
From this state we watch the beginning and the end of their relationship. There is no specific incident to take the blame for the disintegration of their love. If there were, then the film would be pointless. The movie asks us questions instead of providing simplistic answers to irrelevant ones. What happened to their love? Where did it go?
These are questions only the viewer can ask and only the viewer can answer. All I can tell you is that Michelle Williams’ Academy Nomination is well deserved and Ryan Gosling’s lack of one is a crime. They are the two most honest, intense, grabbing, ripping, gripping performances this year, or any other. See it for them if nothing else. So if you’re interested in experiencing something true instead of sitting in a dark theater and predicting what you already know is going to happen and feeling empty as you walk out wondering why you just shelled out $9.50 for nothing, then see this film.
4 out of 4 paws!