Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine
12.31.2010
8 10

PLOT: The beginning and the end of a relationship between two highly complex young adults (Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams).

REVIEW: BLUE VALENTINE was definitely one of the more controversial, and challenging films to emerge from the Sundance Film Festival this year. It's since played to great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival, and The Weinstein Company will be rolling it out for Oscar consideration.


However, BLUE VALENTINE is already infamous due to the fact that the MPAA in their infinite LACK of wisdom, saw fit to bestow the film with the dreaded NC-17, which would have all but doomed the film to a limited run on the art-house circuit, as many theaters won't play NC-17. Reportedly, the objections had to do with an oral sex sequence between Gosling and Williams, where it's implied that Williams is not enjoying the experience. The scene is uncomfortable, tough to watch, but utterly truthful for the characters at the stage they are in the film. It's challenging, but never exploitative. In fact, there's not really even any nudity in the sequence.

Luckily, sanity has prevailed, and BLUE VALENTINE is getting the R it deserves, without any cuts. Hopefully controversy won't overwhelm the film, as it's truly an astounding relationship drama in the vein of John Cassavetes.

Like in a Cassavetes film, much of the dialogue feels improvised, although this is more much polished visually, with director Derek Cianfrance giving the film a rich and dynamic look (appropriately shading a few of the scenes in cold, metallic blue). Visually, it's actually quite beautiful, reminding me of Christopher Doyle's work with Wong Kar Wai in films like HAPPY TOGETHER, or FALLEN ANGELS. Yet, while the look is stylized, the content is not. Emotionally, this feels real, which makes this a rather turbulent film to sit through.

Essentially, this is a two-hander, with Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams playing the couple that falls in and out of love over the years. Both have interesting, three-dimensional roles. Gosling plays the more romantic of the two; an uneducated, somewhat naive laborer who falls madly in love with Williams at first sight. Williams' is the much more cynical half of the couple, with her playing a promiscuous med-student who probably should have never ended up with someone like Gosling in the first place. Sure enough- the movie makes it painfully clear that she's the one who falls out of love first.


The two have an interesting dynamic, with both having very juicy roles to sink their teeth into. They de-glamorize themselves in a big way, with Gosling allowing himself to age noticeably over the course of the film. As for Williams, she has a couple of very graphic, realistic sex scenes. She not only goes topless at times, but also goes full-frontal, which is a brave choice. My only problem with the performances is that, of the two, Gosling tends to over-indulge a bit in the actorly tics. At times, he comes off as a bit of a Marlon Brando/ James Dean wannabe with lots of mumbling, and some tough guy posing. However, it could be argued that these tics are appropriate to the character, and I suppose, if there's any actor of our generation that deserves comparison to those guys, it would be Gosling.

While BLUE VALENTINE is probably the emotional equivalent of a slasher film, it's definitely something that demands to be seen, as it features two incredible performances by two of the best actors of our generation. While it's probably not a great first date film (although one could argue it's a perfect last date film), it's something that I'm sure a lot of us will be able to relate to. It shows how time has a way of eating away at our relationships, and that love isn't always immune to its ravages.

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:29PM on 01/24/2011

Fucking AMAZING film!

Saw this on Saturday at a 5:10 showing in Charlotte, Nc. I have never been a Ryan Gossling fan, even at times activly disliking him but Jesus Christ, he is fucking amazing in this film. I don't know if it's because I can relate to his plight at the end of the film or what, but I thought his performance was a revalation. I actually thought it was free of the actorly tics that have driven me crazy in the past. There are so many scenes in this movie that just leveled me: The scene where he breaks
Saw this on Saturday at a 5:10 showing in Charlotte, Nc. I have never been a Ryan Gossling fan, even at times activly disliking him but Jesus Christ, he is fucking amazing in this film. I don't know if it's because I can relate to his plight at the end of the film or what, but I thought his performance was a revalation. I actually thought it was free of the actorly tics that have driven me crazy in the past. There are so many scenes in this movie that just leveled me: The scene where he breaks down after burying the dog, the scene where Michelle Willaims stops the car and just walks into the woods and leans against a tree for a minute, the scenes in the hotel where he is trying to connect to her and she is so cold and distant...fuck, it just killed me. I told my friend who was with me that I've been both of them in past relationships. I've been the guy trying to hold on and i've been the guy who knows it's over and just wants out. I was completely floored at how great this film was. Just blown away. I think this film should be required viewing for anyone about to get married. It felt so real and so human. I cannot get it out of my head. The scene where he plays the ukele and sings as she dances on the street....I fell in love with her in that moment the same way he did. I remember the topless scenes, but I cannot remember any full frontal nudity and I was looking...lol.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:49PM on 01/02/2011

review

Great review and a great film, but why do I feel like the last paragraph was written by somebody else?
Great review and a great film, but why do I feel like the last paragraph was written by somebody else?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:06PM on 01/02/2011
I am confused as well. I looked online and that last paragraph can be found from another review from a different person. Idk if that person stole it from here or this reviewer uses a diff name? that review was posted on dec. 22 so idk..?
I am confused as well. I looked online and that last paragraph can be found from another review from a different person. Idk if that person stole it from here or this reviewer uses a diff name? that review was posted on dec. 22 so idk..?
7:21PM on 01/02/2011
Strange- it's all mine, although I originally reviewed this a year ago, but re-worked parts of it a few weeks ago to get it up to date, with the MPAA situation. I assure you though- this is all mine.
Strange- it's all mine, although I originally reviewed this a year ago, but re-worked parts of it a few weeks ago to get it up to date, with the MPAA situation. I assure you though- this is all mine.
7:23PM on 01/02/2011
This is a re-post by the way. It's been online since January- I just changed a few things earlier this month.
This is a re-post by the way. It's been online since January- I just changed a few things earlier this month.
7:30PM on 01/02/2011
Yeah- I was ripped off. The person at this address [link] ripped off my last two paragraphs. The rest he stole from here: [link]
Yeah- I was ripped off. The person at this address [link] ripped off my last two paragraphs. The rest he stole from here: [link]
8:34PM on 01/02/2011
yeah i assumed it wasn't you who stole it because you said you saw it at sundance this year. just thought you should know someone ripped it off.
yeah i assumed it wasn't you who stole it because you said you saw it at sundance this year. just thought you should know someone ripped it off.
9:34PM on 01/02/2011
Thanks man. We got ripped off earlier this year by a douche named Tom Perkins.
Thanks man. We got ripped off earlier this year by a douche named Tom Perkins.
+1
10:12AM on 01/01/2011

Michelle Williams IS one of the best actresses around

Really looking forward to this one. I hate Dawson's Creek but Michelle Williams is a terrific actress, check out "Wendy and Lucy", she's amazing in it
Really looking forward to this one. I hate Dawson's Creek but Michelle Williams is a terrific actress, check out "Wendy and Lucy", she's amazing in it
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:58PM on 12/31/2010
I still really want to see it.
I still really want to see it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:22PM on 12/31/2010

the review is...

as cogent as ever mr.bumbray, especially regarding the brando/dean comparison. At first instance i was ready to bash that statement, but in retrospect, it is spot on, because for all their imperfections (brando esp) they still lay down some damned compelling performances. Gosling was the only believable character in the absurdity that was 'the notebook', maybe his father as well.
as cogent as ever mr.bumbray, especially regarding the brando/dean comparison. At first instance i was ready to bash that statement, but in retrospect, it is spot on, because for all their imperfections (brando esp) they still lay down some damned compelling performances. Gosling was the only believable character in the absurdity that was 'the notebook', maybe his father as well.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:31PM on 02/01/2010

Really ?

Michelle Williams one of the best actresses of your generation ? ??? Wow ! I can come up with about 20 actresses I think that are a finer thespian than her. Bold statement there.
Michelle Williams one of the best actresses of your generation ? ??? Wow ! I can come up with about 20 actresses I think that are a finer thespian than her. Bold statement there.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:28PM on 02/01/2010
Watch "Wendy and Lucy" and "Brokeback Mountain." She's well on her way to being one of the best young actresses out there.
Watch "Wendy and Lucy" and "Brokeback Mountain." She's well on her way to being one of the best young actresses out there.
2:43PM on 12/31/2010
Why dont you go ahead and come up with those 20 names ?
Why dont you go ahead and come up with those 20 names ?
7:44PM on 01/03/2011
I have to agree with you flicksguy215, I've yet to see Williams give a performance that distanced her from countless other actresses her age. Maybe this movie will change my mind?
I have to agree with you flicksguy215, I've yet to see Williams give a performance that distanced her from countless other actresses her age. Maybe this movie will change my mind?
7:01PM on 02/01/2010
I wanna see this so fing bad.
I wanna see this so fing bad.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:00PM on 02/01/2010

AWESOME!

KANT W8 4 THIS MOVIE, NICE REVIEW
KANT W8 4 THIS MOVIE, NICE REVIEW
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+4
1:39PM on 02/01/2010

The Return of Gosling

I'm so glad he's back this year making films after Half Nelson & Lars and the Real Girl. He should've beaten Whitaker for Last King of Scotland (A. it was a supporting role and B. Gosling was so subtle and brilliant compared to Forest Whitaker screaming for 2 hours.) Plus Michelle Williams finally getting solid lead roles. If you haven't seen her in Wendy & Lucy, check it out. It's slow but it's worth it.
I'm so glad he's back this year making films after Half Nelson & Lars and the Real Girl. He should've beaten Whitaker for Last King of Scotland (A. it was a supporting role and B. Gosling was so subtle and brilliant compared to Forest Whitaker screaming for 2 hours.) Plus Michelle Williams finally getting solid lead roles. If you haven't seen her in Wendy & Lucy, check it out. It's slow but it's worth it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:57PM on 02/01/2010
Couldn`t agree with you more dude.
Couldn`t agree with you more dude.
1:02PM on 02/01/2010
Sundance just looks great this year. Blue Valentine is definitely in my "most anticipated". Great review.
Sundance just looks great this year. Blue Valentine is definitely in my "most anticipated". Great review.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:35AM on 02/01/2010
Can't wait to see this because I am a huge fan of Gosling. Anything with Gosling is definitely worth checking out, because like you said in the review above he is one of the best actors (if not the best) of our generation.
Can't wait to see this because I am a huge fan of Gosling. Anything with Gosling is definitely worth checking out, because like you said in the review above he is one of the best actors (if not the best) of our generation.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More