Blue Valentine is the heartbreakingly realistic view of the breakdown of a marriage, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
The film flicks between past and present in a seamlessly easy to follow way. We are shown flashbacks of the past between the couple’s tense attempt to fix their failing relationship over the course of two days.
It’s clear that as they have given up on their relationship, they have also given up on their appearance. Dean (Gosling) is never seen without paint-splattered skin, while Cindy (Williams) is without make up and visibly bigger than her younger years.
The film has a raw voyeuristic edge as we get a peak into the crucial days of the couple’s tinkering relationship. Camera’s are often handheld, and we are truly dropped into the intimate details of their lives. This could easily be a real life couple.
In a society where almost half of marriages end in divorce, the film shows the heart of divorce and that it is not something that is often entered into lightly.
As a child of divorced parents myself and a true romantic, the film spoke to me. I felt for both the characters, and wasn’t able to put a blame on either side of the couple. Cindy seems hard and cold towards Dean, but she’s just tired and fed up. Her passion is gone. Dean does a good job of playing the wounded victim, but he fails to put any effort into the relationship.
Gosling and Williams deservedly got Golden Globe nominations for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Actress’ for this film, their performances were heartfelt and believable.
As someone who is often disappointed by films, this one left me satisfied and provided me with a range of ways to interpret it. Hours were spent over cocktails dissecting the film with friends. Not many films can provoke that reaction.
Unfortunately as it’s quite a low budget indie film, it won’t get the distribution it deserves, but I urge you to see it if you get the chance.