3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Greatest Breakup of the Year,
This review is from: Blue Valentine (DVD)
Blue Valentine was a small little film that only a small group of people likely saw in theaters. However, due to its nomination for Best Picture as well as Michelle Williams' nomination for Best Actress at the Oscar's, more movie fans will likely be drawn to this.
It needs to be said that Blue Valentine is not for the light of heart. If one has any knowledge of the movie - or cares to make any assumptions from the title, really - then it is a known fact that this is a movie about the downward spiral of a marriage. The film is centered around the present of the unhappy couple and their young daughter, but is interspersed with extended pieces of the couple at the early stages of their romance, beginning with their first encounter. This pulls at the heartstrings most of all, as the viewer is privy to seeing how happy these two once were, and then seeing them grapple to the final shreds of their relationship.
Michelle Williams earned her Oscar nomination, and it's a shock that Ryan Gosling didn't earn one for his role. Williams manages to wring every bit of anguish out of her character, filling the film with a mix of desperation and hopelessness in her later years that sharply contrasts the whimsical and content young woman she was when with Ryan's character when things began.
Ryan Gosling does a phenomenal job transitioning his character from a hopeless romantic (very similar to his character in 'The Notebook') into a reckless one. It's never easy to hate his character, even when he is at his lowest point, because Ryan is able to always retain the pure, desperate motives that drives his character throughout the film.
Content wise, there are several sex scenes, though only one rather explicit one. This one is also the only one that doesn't hold some piece of plot significance within it, so it may skipped for those who don't wish to watch it. It must also be said that profanity always has purpose behind it. Movies can be frustrating when the script was written with the intent of having the f word peppered twenty times in a sentence. There is profanity, but it only serves to project the emotions that these characters are feeling, and makes the film all that much more heartbreaking.
It is nice that 'Blue Valentine' never TELLS the viewer why things are happening. It's frustrating when the reasoning behind decisions are spelled out rather than shown (even more so when both occur), as that seems to be lazy of the writer and director. 'Blue Valentine' gives the viewer all the pieces to put together, and many of the motivations and results of the characters' lives and actions are due to these things. There is always justification for situations, which makes this feel like a very 'smart' film.
'Blue Valentine' is one of the most beautiful movies of the year. If you plan on watching it with the intent to be euphoric afterwards, then maybe you should reassess what you about to watch. 'Blue Valentine' is not for the hopeless romantic or the naive optimistic. It is a film of reality. The reality is, no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just don't get the happy ending.