Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
A romance without a heart...
Blue Valentine (DVD)
Member Name: thedevilinme
Blue Valentine (DVD)
Date: 15/02/13, updated on 16/02/13 (55 review reads)
Advantages: Good acting
Disadvantages: Too serious
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.
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........."
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.
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.
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.
Imdb.com - 7.5/10.0 (75,678 votes)
Metacritc.com - 81% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com - 88% critic's approval rating
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.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =