Friday, January 14, 2011

Blue Valentine - Movie Review

Blue Valentine (R) 120 minutes A
When love is not enough

Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

Blue Valentine is an excellent film about a young couple who fall in and out of love. It follows their beautiful beginning and tragic end by toggling between the doldrums of present day couplehood/novelty of their courtship.

This film (along with Helena From the Wedding) feels more authentic than anything I've seen this past year. It was easy to forget you're watching two fictional characters and not someone you know. New York Observer film critic Rex Reed says "movie intimacy reaches groundbreaking new heights in this shocking story", and goes on to add that Blue Valentine left him "racked by feelings of emotional intensity that still linger."

As the credits rolled and people began to slowly come unglued from their seats a quiet contemplation filled the air. I felt speechless, heavy and consumed by it all, usually a good sign that the film has left me with plenty to digest.

Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic summed it up best when he wrote "There's no blame to assign here. There are just two people in different places in their lives, their differences developing into an open wound in their relationship, until healing seems out of the question." This is a credit to the filmmaker and actors for crafting such a profoundly organic and humanistic study of a phenomena that (unfortunately) most will experience once, twice or more in a lifetime.

Lastly, it's worth noting that the director of Blue Valentine is Derek Cianfrance who grew up in Lakewood, CO and attended CU. I have a feeling we'll be hearing his name a lot more in the near future.

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