Blue Valentine Review

By: Emily Kellas
Rating: 8 out of 10

A Sundance award winner and Oscar nominated film, Blue Valentine may not go down as one of the greatest love stories ever told, yet has an important message to deliver on a much mulled-over subject.

The little independent film that stars the good-looking pair of Ryan Gosling, and Michelle Williams is directed by Derek Cianfrance, and is not just another love story, but a love story that evolves and becomes something that many Americans can identify with. Though unconventional in its story, Blue Valentine’s appeal falls directly on that unexpected plot.

Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams) are a married couple with a daughter, Frankie, who come to find themselves at an in-pass for their relationship. Flashbacks intertwine with present day as the film pieces together the couple’s illustrious history. After dropping Frankie off with her grandfather the pair head off to a cheesy motel for a night that holds the hope of rekindling a once roaring romance. What they find at the end of the night and with the first rays of cleansing morning light, is that perhaps you can’t always save something once it has been lost.

With its content aside, the film’s use of editing and camera angles truly gives it an edge and disorientation that plays well into the theme of the confusion love and relationships tends to bring. The use of flashbacks also creates a seamless transition from the past to the present. Gosling and Williams have a truly believable chemistry, bypassing the stereotypes of Hollywood love, instead showing the reality of a tough and rocky relationship.

The plot, and more importantly the ending, is not the idyllic Hollywood romantic drama. Blue Valentine’s independent status allows the film to take risks with the content and characters. The risk pays off, as it does such a spectacular job at giving audiences a glimpse into what love can and sometimes will turn into. It also makes you think about love, and if there truly is only one person out there for everyone.

Though the reality of love and relationships may not be everyone’s idea of an uplifting movie night, Blue Valentine is an insightful film that feels as though the audience is peering into the private lives of an everyday couple in the middle of America. If you are looking for an unconventional romance, this film is the answer, so curl up on the couch and pull out the pint Ben & Jerry’s as you watch Blue Valentine.

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