Blue Valentine is another film I missed out on in theaters in 2010… and finally caught up to on video. To be fair, it wasn’t exactly a wide release. But it did earn some pretty high end of the year marks, for the film in general, Ryan Gosling’s performance, Michelle Williams’ performance and Derek Ciafrance’s direction.
All of those accolades are pretty well-deserved. The direction is subtle and he doesn’t overpower you with anything… making it all feel very real. Gosling and Williams give towering performances, worthy of any praise heaped upon them. The movie as a whole wasn’t much. It shows the decline of a marriage, at the same time as experiencing the couple come together. During the two hours onscreen, we come to despise Cindy and really feel for Dean. This may be a downfall of a man directing the picture, but I can only work with what I’m seeing onscreen. Williams’ Cindy proclaims that she has had enough and we’re left wondering – enough of what? Dean seems like a doting father to his daughter (which may not be his), a loving husband to a wife who is completely frigid and a guy that exists entirely to support and love his family. He is the one who pursued Cindy as well… eventually finding his way into her heart with his charms and the way he looked out for her. It was grueling to watch this guy love this woman and get nothing back. It must be hard to experience that ice cold nothingness. It almost made me despise Michelle Williams the person – that’s how real it all felt. It is really striking when I think about this being the same girl who was on Dawson’s Creek. She’s come a long way as an actress… and Gosling further cements himself, in my opinion, as one of the finest actors we have today. Crazy, Stupid, Love not withstanding.