Blue Valentine (The Weinstein Company) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Blue Valentine

Studio: The Weinstein Company

Jan 07, 2011 Issue #34 - Year End 2010 - Sufjan Stevens
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During an early scene in Blue Valentine, Dean (Ryan Gosling) tries to get his young daughter to eat her “yucky” breakfast by placing pinches of instant oatmeal directly on the kitchen table, so they can slurp it up, as Dean says, “like leopards.” Dean’s wife Cindy (Michelle Williams) is hardly amused; she has the look of a woman who’s grown tired of her husband’s juvenility. Viewers know then and there that a bumpy ride is ahead.

Set in Pennsylvania, director/co-writer Derek Cianfrance’s disquieting blue-collar love story crosscuts between Dean and Cindy’s rocky present and their courtship roughly six years earlier. Essentially, Gosling and Williams each are playing two characters, the adult couple who can’t converse without triggering insecurity and regret, and their bolder, more vigorous younger selves with eyes to the future. Cianfrance shot the present-day scenes on Red digital cameras attached to tripods, while the flashbacks were filmed handheld on 16mm. His sensitivity to the pace and intimacy of the material is unfaltering, although there is the discouraging sense halfway through the film that neither of the narratives is going anywhere surprising. That leaves Gosling and Williams to sustain the fireworks, which they do with heart-crushing honesty. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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