Welcome! Log in or Register

Blue Valentine (DVD)

  • image
£5.36 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
7 Reviews

Genre: Drama / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Derek Cianfrance / Actors: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman ... / DVD released 2011-05-09 at Optimum Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    7 Reviews
    Sort by:
    • More +
      18.08.2013 23:22
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      A film that makes marriage look like torture. Left me feeling rather melancholy.

      Blue Valentine is a film that I came across through reading reviews. I read a couple of decent reviews about the film, and upon realising I could watch it as part of my lovefilm subscription, I waited till a suitable opportunity before settling down to watch the film.
      Released in 2010, the film is quite well received by critics, and was nominated for Golden Globe and Academy awards for its gritty portrayal of a marriage on the rocks. It stars Michele Williams as Cindy, and Ryan Gosling as Dean - the married couple at the centre of the storyline.

      I am a fan of Michele Williams as an actress. I loved her in Dawson's Creek, and her talent for me was sealed in Brokeback Mountain. I am less familiar with Ryan Gosling's previous work - the only previous work of his I have watched is Flash Forward, something he only briefly appeared in for a few episodes, and he is not someone who stood out to me in that.
      Blue Valentine follows couple Cindy and Dean. The couple are quite dysfunctional in the present day, but the action swaps and changes between their current drab existence and scenes from throughout their courtship.

      Cindy is working currently as a nurse and trying to improve her lot in life while Dean is working as a painter. It is clear that the couple currently are moving through the motions, but as you are shown the way that they met and started out their relationship, you begin to realise just how far the couple have moved apart.
      The couple are quite infatuated with each other at the start, but Gosling's character Dean has never really shown much ambition beyond creating a family with Cindy. She however, has held ambition from a young age to be a doctor, however her life was turned upside down when she fell pregnant early on in the relationship and couldn't stomach having an abortion.

      The film mainly features scenes between the couple. You get additional interaction with Cindy's family, particularly her father in current times, and you see how the couple interact around their daughter.
      I found this quite a hard film to watch as I found the decline of their marriage pretty tragic. My personal view is that a marriage is for life unless there is a reason for that not to happen such as abuse or death. Here, Dean's only crime is not to have ambition, and he and Cindy just drift along till they can't function together. Dean is still perfectly happy in the relationship, and wants to be a good dad, but Cindy is moving away and there is nothing that he can do to stop that happening.

      While he did come across as a bit of a dead beat, he hadn't really changed from when Cindy fell in love with him, and there was no real reason why it was all falling apart. He wasn't abusive, he tried to be attentive. It is just the sheer drudgery of life pulling them apart.
      Personally, I found this pretty tragic. If it could happen to this couple who started off quite strong, then it could happen to any married couple. It was this that I found so discerning.

      It was pretty apparent to me that there was some lack of effort on both parts in maintaining a relationship, but it was horrifying to me to watch it unravel thinking it could happen to anyone.
      I think what let the film down for me a bit was it was a bit too lengthy. I did find myself getting a little bored with the whole scenario in the end but I don't know if I just found it all a bit unrealistic compared to my own life.

      Acting on the whole was believable and done well. I felt my emotions being pulled all over the place willing the couple to work it out.
      I also felt the ending was all a bit sudden, and I was left thinking is that it? Waiting for the story to continue when it wasn't going to.

      I also found some of the sex scenes within the film quite disturbing. I am no prude, and had no problem with scenes set early in the relationship, but felt in some of the scenes Cindy sets Dean up as though he is a rapist, and I find it hard to imagine a couple in the way it is depicted in scene. Sex might be seen as a chore perhaps, but the way she reacts seems odd to me, and it was uncomfortable to see a fairly nice man being treated in such a way.
      I'm left not knowing whether to recommend this film or not. It is well acted, and believable, but the storyline is quite depressing and dragged out. It is not something I would want to personally sit through again having seen once, but I don't feel I wasted time watching it once.

      Be prepared for this film being quite mundane, but what is shows about relationships is what makes it a memorable film. I'm going to give it 3/5.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      25.05.2013 09:09
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      3 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      A fantastic film

      About the film
      Blue Valentine is a 2010 romantic drama film. It has a run time of 112 minutes and a rating of 15 due to language, sex scenes and some violence.

      Plot
      Blue Valentine tells the story of Dean and Cindy, a couple who let their past experiences affect their relationship. The film uses flashbacks to explore their lived before marriage and during their marriage. Dean was a high school dropout, from a broken family and never saw himself as having a family and a wife of his own. Cindy also comes from a dysfunctional family although with a better background. When she and Dean meet, she's in medical school. She has ambition but he doesn't. He's more than happy working in a job where he can have a beer anytime he wants.

      As the film switches between their courtship and married life, it shows how their characters have changed and why. As married adults, Dean and Cindy have a young daughter, Cindy works as a nurse but Dean doesn't do anything. He doesn't have a job nor does he care to get one. This is a story of how either one large event or several small ones can affect more than one person's life.

      Cast
      Ryan Gosling as Dean
      Michelle Williams as Cindy
      Faith Wladyka as Frankie
      John Doman as Jerry
      Mike Vogel as Bobby
      Marshall Johnson as Marshall
      Jen Jones as Gramma

      What I thought
      Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are two of my favourite actors so I was quite shocked with myself that it took me so long to watch this film. Both have a habit of taking roles in very different films compared to the average rom-com or action film which is why I like them so much.

      In Blue Valentine, Gosling and Williams play Dean and Cindy, a couple who have been through a lot. To begin with we get to see how unhappy they are in their marriage. Cindy is a nurse working hard to support her family, along with young daughter Frankie. Dean, however, is a bit of a lowlife who has no job and doesn't seem to care about much other than drinking and Frankie. It quickly becomes clear that there have been a number of things which have led to such an unhappy time. Throughout the film, there are flashbacks to before the couple have met and then, while they begin to date. The way of telling the story was fantastic because it meant that the audience get to see everything that happened between the couple.

      At the beginning, Dean understands that he is never going to make much of his life, so he doesn't aspire to. He's quite happy working to support himself as best as possible. He doesn't want a happy ever after, he doesn't want a wife and he certainly doesn't want children. Gosling is shown as quite a carefree and handsome young man who comes across as very likeable, even with his lack of passion for life. When the film flips back to the present day, he's balding and very run down. This type of role, especially the look, is something very different for Gosling as most of his roles take full advantage of his good looks. As in all of his roles, Gosling takes this one to the max. He's very charismatic as a young man but angry and upset as a married man. The contrast in his character's personality was fascinating to watch as it could have been two completely different people.

      Williams was just as good in her performance as Cindy. She comes from a dysfunctional family but is trying to make something of herself. She wants a better life and a better future but things get in the way. One bad experience after another leads her to Dean and even when she doesn't want to know, he works his way into his life. Cindy's character is just as raw and as full of emotion as Dean's. Together, Gosling and Williams make a fantastic but emotional and broken couple. They both have so many problems and destroyed pasts which partly is what brings them together. With two great actors playing the lead roles, you know you are going to get passionate and heartfelt performances from them both.

      As well as there being a great cast, albeit a very small one, the film is very stylish. The filmmakers have filmed this in such a way that makes you feel as though you are there with Dean and Cindy in every single scene. This, along with the plot, makes everything seem much more real. The setting of Blue Valentine is cold and quite dreary. It makes you believe that you are investing your time into two real people and a real relationship, rather than a Hollywood couple. This is certainly not a film that makes you feel warm and gooey inside but instead, makes you realise that people do have problems and that not all relationships have happy endings. This is a film that does not give you a false sense of hope not any illusions that it will all work out well in the end. Blue Valentine is a film that is extremely truthful, harsh but somehow beautiful at the same time.

      Although for me, Gosling excels in everything he does, this is by far one of my favourite films from him and to have Williams co-star just makes it even better. I call this one a must see!

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        15.02.2013 22:46
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        "Acting"

        Star - Ryan Gosling
        Genre - Romance
        County - USA
        Certificate - 18R
        Run Time - 112 minutes
        Oscar Nomination - One
        Blockbusters - £0.99 per night
        Amazon - £9.99DVD (£8.00 Blue Ray)
        ------------------------------------------------



        "She just seems different, you know? I don't know, I just got a feeling about her. You know when a song comes on and you just gotta dance?"
        (Blue Valentine, 2010)
        -----------------------------



        Christmas and Valentines Day trigger one third of all break ups, so says a gossipy womens magazine, men expected to perform with thought out gifts and tenderness and so effectively their relationship on annual appraisal. I purchased 'a - two - for - one' Easter Egg deal on the 14th for my new lady friend so maybe I will join that list! It would be nice to think relationships and wedded bliss are built on love alone but when we get older and wiser it's really about providing her enough emotional and financial security that secures her heart and her mind. Ultimately it's about whether the guy can help nurture a child when it comes down to it, the heartfelt and raw subject matter of Blue Valentine. Did you known that 35% of divorces are triggered when the woman starts to earn more than the man? I know a few guys who have seen their relationships dissolve when she returns to work and starts to climb the career ladder again. Deep down it has to be about the man caring and so providing for the woman to keep the relationship alive.


        Blue Valentine - named after the Tom Waits album, of course - is a love story with a difference, being that it's not another bloody romcom starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan. Indie King and Queen Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are the star-crossed lovers here and that casting alone was enough to get this some serious attention by the indie fringe, earning Michele Williams an Oscar nomination (the second in her young life) and the film doing well at the film festivals, especially Sundance. If you personally know a young cool college educated couple as friends you can guarantee they ape their romances from art house films like this.

        To say the film was delayed is an under statement as it took director Derek Cianfrance 12 years, two mortgages and 67 drafts to get this to screen. It was further delayed as Michelle Williams was Heath Ledgers ex and had a kid by him and she wasn't up for filming for a while when he died just before principal photography. That heartache, not surprisingly, is in the thumbprint of this movie.


        ---Cast---

        Ryan Gosling ... Dean
        Michelle Williams ... Cindy
        Faith Wladyka ... Frankie
        John Doman ... Jerry
        Mike Vogel ... Bobby



        "...............I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like, one girl, 'cause we're resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think I'd be an idiot if I didn't marry this girl she's so great. But it seems like girls get to a place where they just kind a pick the best option... 'Oh he's got a good job.' I mean they spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then they marry the guy who's got a good job and is gonna stick around........."

        ---------------------


        ---Plot---


        We meet handsome college dropout Dean (Gosling), arguing with his pretty wife Cindy (Michelle Williams), married for five years with kids but the dissolution of their once intense and loving relationship underway.

        We then flashback to the beginning of their romance in the vibrant city of New York where Dean pitches up and gets a job for a removals company whilst Cindy is a pre-med student living with her unhappy parents in Pennsylvania.

        Its love at first sight for Dean, who catches sight of Cindy working in an old folk's home, seducing her on the bus home with his quirky Ukulele skills. But during their early courtship she discovers she is pregnant, which they both know may well be from her previous relationship with her high school jock boyfriend Bobby (Mike Vogel), who beats up Dean when he discovers she has dumped him for a removal punk.

        Flashing forward we learn the reasons why Cindy, who is now a nurse in a local Pennsylvanian practice, has fallen out of love with the more phlegmatic Dean, painting houses his new career choice. She thinks he drinks too much and has lost the ambition and passion he once had for music and art, their attraction back in the day. He thinks he is a good father and only doing what's right for her and the family and playing the house daddy, kids always a passion killer. She had two more kids to trap him and now blaming him for the trap for domesticating both their lives and killing their once bold dreams of youth.

        ----Quote----
        Dean: "I didn't want to be somebody's husband and I didn't want to be somebody's dad, that wasn't my goal in life. But somehow it was. I work so I can do that".
        ----------------


        The couple decide to try one last time by visiting places from their courtship to try and rekindle their passion, the Blue Valentine Motel their first stop. But sometimes marriages just run their course and have nothing more to squeeze from them, whether they like it or not.


        ----The Result----

        As I say this is in no way a romcom so don't rent it for that girls, a rather cold and depressing drama when it comes down to it. Both are classy young actors and the director gets the best from them with top notch and convincing performances, digging their nails into the uglier side of a relationship when the love has peaked and you blame each other for getting stuck in a rut, but there is no chemistry between them, the films fatal flaw. You just don't believe these two were ever in love.


        The director allows the actors to improvise, which seems to work well, disciplined performer Williams unnerved by that at first but quickly getting the point why that's needed in this type of movie. Indie films have to be wobbly camera different to draw the educated audience they snobbishly crave. The likeable and extremely sexy Gosling, on the other hand, said he did not mind improvising as he had trouble remembering his lines. On and there is some explicit sex here and the film nearly didn't get a certificate rating to allow it to be in the cinema as Gosling character acts a certain sex act on Williams's character in the movie. Gosling would successfully argue that was not fair as if the oral sex was the girl on the man there would be no issue an so they got their 18R.

        It cost just $10 million to make but did a surprisingly feeble $12 million back, considering heartthrob Gosling is in it, the cast & crew waving most of their fee to keep it in the black. They believed in the project and it got made, which has to be admired. True artists rarely make much money and few are heard off.

        I'm sure this will appeal to the Film4, Pinot Grigot sipping crowd as it's not what the great unwashed watch and so every reason to watch it. But for Asti Spumante man me its just doesn't quite embrace you in the way you hoped and that hug rather cold and unwelcoming. It's just too earnest and lacking any sort of humor and, I suspect, only really resonates with those who had the type of love affair they have proudly lived their whole life around. I like my movies to inspire or antagonize and this did neither. In a way the film reminds me of the way men win women's hearts, putting on an act the girl falls in love with, but when the girls get home and unwraps it all they are never quite what they had hoped for. I think we all fall in love with an illusion at some point, why we love movies.


        ---Ratings---

        Imdb.com - 7.5/10.0 (75,678 votes)
        Metacritc.com - 81% critic's approval rating
        Rottentomatos.com - 88% critic's approval rating


        ---Critics---

        The Guardian -'In some ways Blue Valentine is a lower-class version of Annie Hall without the wry humor and Allen's acceptance that nothing truly lasts, and that love inevitably fades'.

        Empire Magazine - 'A raw but beautiful picture of love uniting and dividing: tender, real and heartfelt'.

        Cinemamania -'Blue Valentine deserves a wide audience. But it is probably too authentically tragic to get it'.

        Miami Herald - 'It's complicated, like real life'.

        The Express -' Cianfrance is not interested in the Hollywood fairytale, he want to show that love can scar.

        = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          10.08.2012 23:43
          Very helpful
          (Rating)

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          Films like this come along once in a blue moon.

          I saw this film when it first came out in the cinema and was completely mesmerised by the entire thing. When it came out on DVD I knew I had to add it to my collection of DVDs.

          This film first came out in 2010 and prior to release had premièred at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is a romantic drama played out in two different years, detailing the beginning and the end of a relationship. The concept is so clever and the execution is simply spellbinding. It is also so unlike any other film I've seen before and has definitely rocketed to the top of my favourite film list.

          The film follows married couple, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cynthia 'Cindy' (Michelle Williams). The films shifts back and forth between their courtship and the dissolution of their marriage several years, and one child, later.

          It would be far too complex for me to outline each of the flash backs and flash forwards in the film so I'll just give a little background on the two concurrent plot lines.

          In the flashbacks Dean is a young removals man who has never been in love. His compassionate and caring side come across so clearly when he goes above and beyond in setting up and elderly man's room with all his belongings. He is not just cute but also very funny, his quirky sense of humour and charisma is definitely very seductive and it is easy to see why Cindy falls for him.
          In the flashbacks Cindy is a young college student with dreams of becoming a doctor. She is clearly intelligent and caring, though she definitely has her guard up in regards to other people. It is easy to see why when you meet her parents, who argue constantly. She spends most of her time caring for her elderly Grandmother who she clearly loves dearly. She also has a boyfriend who is portrayed as the typical american jock.
          The couple meet at a retirement home where Cindy is looking after her grandmother and Dean is kindly unpacking the belongings of an elderly man. The two are instantly drawn together, though it is Dean who pursues it. He later sees her again on a bus and they spend a glorious night together singing and tap dancing (sound lame but is ridiculously romantic and awesome).

          In the present day (six or seven years later) Dean is an alcoholic. He obviously cares for their little girl Frankie a great deal, and is an exciting and unpredictable dad to her. He struggles in his relationship with Cindy who pushes him away. Dean has clearly been damaged by the years that have passed, and has let his appearance go somewhat (though let's be serious, it's Ryan Gosling so he could be wearing a fluorescent orange poncho and I'd still be into it).
          In the present day Cindy is a cynical and embittered wife who resents her husband and the burden she believes he places on her everyday life. She works as a nurse in a local surgery, her dreams of being a doctor have clearly fallen by the wayside. She is no longer interested in her husband sexually (the woman's clearly insane, it's Ryan Gosling) and can only treat him with utter disdain. Though it is clear she loves her daughter she seems exhausted by motherhood and marriage and utterly broken by her situation.

          As you see the young couple's relationship blossom you simultaneously see it fall apart years later. I cannot begin to describe how heartbreaking this truly is. The story of them falling in love is packed with charm and is totally enchanting to watch. The story of their marriage falling apart, on the other hand, is totally soul destroying and all too realistic and recognisable.

          For anyone who has been through a failed relationship this film will resonate in a powerful way. The film has been criticised by some for missing out and giving no hint at what has happened in the time in between these two periods to so break down and batter this pair. This has to be the thing I love about this film most. I've seen the story of a relationship disintegrating over time, like most people I've also lived it. What this film does it take the beginning and ending and contrast them in such a clever and striking way. You can't help but relate it to every past relationship you've ever had, and see yourself in both of the characters.

          I have to take a little bit of time out from praising this film to talk a little about the soundtrack. The score for the film was composed by a band called Girzzly Bear and so many of the songs in this film are enchanting and mesmerising. I particularly enjoyed Ryan Gosling singing, accompanied by a ukulele, and love the song. I also have a huge place in my heart for the couple's song, a weird and long forgotten song called 'You and Me' by Penny and the Quarters (quick, go and have a listen).

          I think this is an incredible film and the dedication of the cast and crew is truly apparent. According to a short clip on the DVD extras Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams actually moved in together for 2 weeks with the young girl who plays their daughter. During this time they lived as a proper family and adhered to a strict budget. You can absolutely see the commitment of the actor's to their roles, it truly shines through in their performances and permeates the entirety of the film

          This is a must-see film for anyone, for everyone.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          06.07.2012 00:04
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          a beautiful masterpiece that has gone a bit unnoticed.

          I found this film on a bit of an off chance. My husband and I were having a look round our local Hmv store for a few cheap dvds, and I found this for just £4. I hadn't heard very much about this film but after reading the back of the dvd box, I felt it was something I would quite enjoy. What I got though was so much better. After seeing this film I can't believe it hasn't proved more popular, I found this film a true masterpiece.

          Blue Valentine is the 2010 romantic drama, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film stars Ryan Gosling (from The Notebook) and Michelle Williams ( the blonde one from Dawson's Creek and Brokeback Mountain). The film runs for approx 107 mins and was directed by Derek Cianfrance.

          The film follows couple Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams), as they begin their relationship together and as their marriage starts to fall apart. We are flipped between their present day and their past.

          The film begins with a little girl outside looking for her dog, when she can't find her dog she goes inside her home, to her mum (Cindy) and Dad (Dean). Cindy looks like a busy rushed of her feet mum, and Dean looks scruffy and hungover. Here we get to see how different the couple are, including with their daughter. As a viewer you are able to see/ feel that all is not well pretty much from the get go. Dean is more of the fun Dad to Frankie while Cindy is the laying down the law Mum. We see the couple go about their day to day lives, at work to the school play.
          We are then sent back to about 6 or so years before, where we meet a younger, much more handsome Dean. Dean is working with a removal firm, and we see him discussing love and relationships with his co workers. It is quite clear from here on out that Dean is a bit of a hopeless romantic who believe in love at first sight.
          We then meet young Cindy, who is busy at college and has a boyfriend Bobby. Cindy also helps take care of her eldery grandmother, where we see Cindy discussing love. It is when Cindy returns her grandmother back to the nursing home that the young couple meet for the first time.
          The film continues to flip between the present day, and past. We get to witness how the young couple first get together, sharing some romantic moments and intimate moments too. We watch them fall in love, but it is not all plain sailing. We as a viewer are invitied into all the behide closed door moments. We also get to see their arguements and how they have both dramatically changed throughout their marriage, resulting in there being a huge crack in their marriage. We see every tear, every laugh and smile. Will it all work out in the end?

          This film moved me in ways I wasn't expecting. You actually feel like you are in this relationship. I went through so many emontions, I laughed out loud and cried like a baby. This film will take you on a rollercoaster of emontions. As the viewer you can feel/sense the mood & tension in the scene before a word is spoken. The film allows you to see and feel things from both sides of the relationship. We may feel that Dean has over reacted to something in the present day, but when we flip back to the past we can then understand his reasons for acting the way he does in the present. Gosling and Williams are fantastic together, and give off great chemistry. This is largely to do with the fact they improvised alot of scenes. There is a part in the film, when the young couple are wondering the streets getting to know each other, that was unscripted. After doing some research I have found that Gosling and Williams went to great lenghts to become their characters including renting a home, and buying food etc on their characters budgets. Getting a real feel for how things would be. Although I have seen both Williams and Gosling in other films, I haven't really stepped up and took notice of either of them before. I really believe this film sees them both at their best, and it sad more people haven't seen this film, and apprreciate the acting talent they share. There isn't a plot as such with this film, more just a tale of love but I don't feel the lack of real plot really matters here, down to the fantastic acting and moving relatable scenes, it works!

          This film reminded me a little of the film Candy but on a more relatable scale, with a much more everyday feel to it. Although the film is about everyday people, and the situations they find themseleves in, its still very hard hitting, and in some places it can be hard to watch. There is so much depth in this film. Even the scenes that overall aren't that important, add another dimension to it, for example Cindy helping her elderl grandmother getting dressed and into bed. This on a whole isn't all that important to the story, but it was still a very touching scene and helped add another layer to Cindy's character. The film as a whole is very powerful. It made me cling to my husband and promise each other never to let things get as bad as Cindy and Dean do.

          The only negative thing I have to say about the film is that it ended to soon. I felt like I was in the relationship and I was left not knowing what the future really held. Although it looks as if the film is ending one way, it is almost left open ended too. Things could still change.

          This is a fantastic film for anyone who has ever fallen in love, or out of it.

          Blue Valentine is not only a great film, but also features some amazing music, especially that of Indie band Grizzly Bear. Ryan Gosling also wrote and performs some songs himself.

          The film is rated a 15, which I feel is appropriate, due to quite a few sex scenes, some very emontional scenes including one in a doctors office, and there is a bit of violence too.

          The Dvd comes with quite a few extras too. There are some delted scenes, a making of, home movies and a director & editor commentary. There is also a Q & A which does include Williams and Gosling. I don't always watch extras, but I was so taken with this film, I wanted all I could get. I'm sure you will too.

          Overall a beautiful masterpiece that has gone a bit unnoticed.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            05.02.2012 02:52
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            1 Comment

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            Quick, add this masterpiece to your collection.

            Ryan Goslings acting ability struck me when I first saw Half Nelson - the indie masterpiece that scrawled his name in movie concrete. I say he struck me, because he wasn't simply introduced. Half Nelson is a slow, pretty quiet film - that is Ryan Gosling uses to show case the stellar power he crams onto the camera. He is not a loud, aggressive actor. He quietly utterly mesmerizing and convincing actor always holding back and unleashing at the right times. He is paced, affable and brings a romance to film making that is truly believable. Watching him on screen is pure reassurance in the power of acting

            Its safe to say, as soon as I was aware of him I needed to catch up on what he'd previously worked on - but I found out to great disappointment there wasn't a lot. However in mid 2010 I caught wind he was involved in this film, Blue Valentine. I didn't care what the film was about - it could have been a discussion on the inner working of pencils - I was sure Gosling would deliver.

            My hunch was correct, with the help of Michelle Williams, they have have created a film to shout about. And cry. And laugh. And to make you feel good. And bad.

            The title says a lot, 'Blue Valentine'. Its a bittersweet title for a film, and it gives a lot away about the tone and general plot.

            Set in the US - Gosling and Williams play Dean and Cindy - a married couple with a child, Frankie. The couple are young when we meet them, both physically and in spirit - but this youth feels fleeting. They portray a couple who have grown old whilst still young, reluctantly admitting it 'happened too soon' but sticking to what feels normal. These first scenes - as we see the couple in the present day - are hard. They are not happy, they are uncomfortably settled and they live in total compromise of each others demands. Cindy feels like the grown up of the two. Shes the one that works and calls the shots. Its also her that is mature enough to call a spade a spade and address the fact the relationship has ran aground.

            Its when this part of the story seems to be progressing the film makers thrust us back to a more passionate, sexual and exciting time in the couples life together - just as they meet. The magic of a new relationship is captured perfectly as Gosling and Williams improvise through scenes bringing a real lust and energy to the prospect meeting a future love. Again, its Cindy who is the more mature. Resisting Deans childish advances - seeing the funny side of his overly romantic gestures, before she's won over by him. This relationship - with her in charge drives the film over the course of almost two hours. We rarely see her lose control. Breakdown yes, but she always has a sense she has made her mind up on the outcome of the relationship - she just can't control how it ends. Dean on the other hand tries to pick up every scrap of the marriage as its cast aside.

            The film then moves from the past to the present as regular intervals. Just when you've seen enough of them falling in love, its switches to us watching them fall apart. This is done with such fluidity and pace that gives the film its chill. Even if something feels perfect, there is always the looming fear it might not last - and rather than give this film an overall downbeat feel, Gosling and Williams fill even the darkest moments with warmth. The film has a cold story, but a its the glow both leads bring to the camera that makes is palatable. This, and the other charms of the film are down to Gosling and Williams. Although the films looks great, many shots and scenes are just beautiful and its set to a captivating soundtrack from US indie band Grizzly Bear - the two leads stand out. Everything else seems to serve as decoration, be it wonderful decoration.

            The film progresses - and with the alternate time-lines the couple grown closer, and further apart. They fall in love, fight and....I won't spoil the rest, but it ends how you would expect it too. Unless Holywood Rom-coms are your thing, it ends how you would least expect.

            As the film progress, dancing through Dean and Cindys best and worst moments, another magical tone makes itself know. Much was said about how Gosling and Williams improvised a lot of the scenes, and its not until mid-way through that just how brilliantly this works is seen. You see it from the start, but there chemistry pulls you in and the way they act with each other just feels real - because a part of it is. And then when they push each other away, Cindy consciously and Dean unknowingly, you feel a real connection to their situation. They don't hit their marks and deliver their lines, they breath the dialogue and conjurer up the vibe everything else the film has to offer hangs on.

            The great thing about this film is tells a story in unconventional way, one that is a knowing tap on the shoulder for anyone who has lost love - which is most people. It tells a story of heartbreak that is uplifting without being cheesy - chilling with being dark. There is a reassurance in this film because it feels real and although its not a particularly happy film, every one seems OK.

            This film get some negative criticism for a few reasons. Some scenes with no dialogue, thin plot - no real story line and quite a shaky camera. These however all parts of what this film is all about. Without wanting to sound cheesy - life has no plot. Its more about the forks in the round and the trial and tribulations that make up life, and this film is about that. The scenes that are quiet are deliberate. They are used to great effect to create mood and tension. Nothing speaks louder than silence, specifically when its not coming from a loved one. This is all part of what makes the film, along side the camera - you feel like a voyeur as the camera follows them around, jumps as the do - rather than be set up to capture the actor in perfect form - thats just not real.

            Its a film that you watch waiting for the plot to revel itself, only to reach the end and by moved by something more. The big reveal at the end of this is how a terrible time can be beautifully reenacted and something known to most people, being it a situation no one wants to face can be understood.

            The DVD has some pretty good extras too, if your wonder if you should buy this or just try and see it. The commentary from the director Cianfrance is insightful explaing how the project came about and what the set out to say with the film, some Ok delated scenes and a short making of. Maybe not enough to swing everyone to buying it, but its really worth having in a collection anyway.Not only is great on repated views but it sits nicely between Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Lost In Translation (spiritually, not alphabetically)

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              18.06.2011 19:20
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              a great romantic dramaa film :)

              Since the beginning of January, my friends and I have done a few trips to the cinema, to catch up with all the latest movies. One of our latest views is one called Blue Valentine.

              Blue Valentine is an American movie which was released in the United Kingdom in January 2011. The movie stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, and comes under the drama and romance genre. The movie is a 15 which means that it must not be viewed by persons under the age of fifteen. The movie runs at just under two hours long and is currently viewing in cinemas now.
              This movie: Dean and Cindy are a married couple in the modern world. Their marriage is starting to go a bit sour, and they are desperate to use one night to try and get it back on track. Will they be able to save their marriage? Watch Blue Valentine to find out!

              I really enjoyed this movie. It's quite sad and very emotional to watch! I think that it is a fantastic movie, and would recommended to all romantic drama fans, although despite enjoying the movie, I wouldn't say that it is the kind of movie which you would want to watch over and over again. But for a one-time-watch, it's great!
              I thought that the acting in this movie was excellent! I thought that the two main actors Ryan Gosling (I liked him in the Notebook!) and Michelle Williams (I hadn't seen a movie of hers until now) played their parts really well! They had fantastic on-screen movie, which is just a must, if the movie is going to be a success; and this was! Ryan Gosling is also a nice bit of eye candy which is always an added bonus ;)

              One thing which I found interesting about this movie, was this it was kind of real to life. Unlike a lot of other movies, this movie didn't potray a 'happy ever after' kind of story, and so it was good to see a movie, which you can relate to real life; in the terms that, a relationship isn't always easy.
              The camera work in this movie was absolutely brilliant. Normally, I don't notice these kinds of things, although it really stood out for me in this movie. It was shot so that you felt as though you were actually in the scenes with the characters, and not just watching the scene! Really good!!

              If you are looking for a good movie which is both romantic and dramatic, then make sure you check this out!
              Thanks for reading!
              January 27th 2011
              xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xdonzx on ciao)

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments