Adam falls in love with Blue Valentine
A staggering portrayal of a complicated relationship, Blue Valentine is a refreshing change in a sea of overly sentimental films. Equally parts romantic and heartbreaking, this is a film of unique power.
Director Derek Cianfrance uses a non-linear sequence of events to tell the story of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy’s (Michelle Williams) turbulent relationship. It is a clever technique that dissuades the viewer from making quick assumptions about the characters. We are exposed to a wide spectrum of behaviours from both Dean and Cindy: from the tender to the deplorable. This technique turns something as thematically small as a single relationship into a epic study of human love in all its complexity.
Both actors are beyond superb in their roles; they bring an emotional commitment to this film that has rarely been seen since the method acting of the 1970’s. William’s and Gosling lived together in preparation for the film and their chemistry is all the better for it. Despite constantly being lauded for their looks, both actors undergo physical transformations: Gosling stacked on the pounds and thinned his hair for his older scenes and Williams foregoes the make-up and styling that gets her on most beautiful lists. The acting goes beyond method tricks though; you really feel that these two have a connection worth fighting for. Williams earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal, while surprisingly Gosling was overlooked.
Director Derek Cianfrance uses different film stocks between the past and present scenes. It is a slight technique but it helps us as viewers to instantly differentiate the time periods. The cinematography is not the only element of this film that is deeply contrasted. Scenes of intimacy range from the erotic to the downright harrowing. Cianfrance is not interested in the Hollywood fairytale, he want to show that love can scar.
If you are in the mood for a film with real substance and emotional intelligence pick up Blue Valentine. Five Stars