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Blue Valentine

3.7 out of 5 stars 312 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Blue Valentine is the story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks.


Love blooms and dies at the same time in the delicate dance between Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain). Gosling's Dean, a high-school dropout, works for a New York moving company. While relocating a frail widower into a retirement home, he spots Cindy, a nursing student who's visiting her grandmother, but the film actually begins six years later. Married with a daughter, they live in rural Pennsylvania. Heavy drinker Dean's looks are fading, while Cindy still turns heads. In his elegantly constructed second feature, writer-director Derek Cianfrance pirouettes between past and present, with each scene commenting on the next (set to the bittersweet tones of Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear). The Dean of the early years pursues Cindy, who resists at first, but a spontaneous date ends with her tap dancing (badly) and him singing (not so badly). She leaves her domineering boyfriend (Mike Vogel) for this attentive stranger, leading to scenes of intimacy that are far more suggestive than pornographic--even if the MPAA briefly rated the film NC-17. Later, when the family dog goes missing, the cracks in their marriage intensify, so Dean arranges for a night of romance, which plays out like a negative image of their first date. If the two actors, who are very good, are meant to carry equal weight, Gosling has the more difficult task. It's harder to like the clingy, insecure Dean, who loves more intensely and less wisely, but that makes Gosling's the braver performance. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Deleted Scenes
Making of Blue Valentine
Home Movies

Product Details

  • Actors: Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling
  • Directors: Derek Cianfrance
  • Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, Cami Delavigne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036TGTDE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,855 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blue Valentine" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 15, 2011
Format: DVD
Perhaps more than any other film in 2010, I have eagerly anticipated the arrival of "Blue Valentine." After superlative press at Sundance, the film fell into the most ridiculous and unnecessary scandal of the year when the MPAA branded the movie with a NC-17 rating. A film filled with grown-up emotions and intimacies, "Blue Valentine" is an unlikely target for such a rating (in an era filled with movies of extreme violence, gore, and much more nudity) other than the fact that "Blue Valentine" feels so extraordinarily real. Luckily, the rating was rightfully overturned so the picture could enjoy a wider release and the benefits of a more extensive advertising campaign. "Blue Valentine" is a sophisticated and smart entertainment for adult audiences brought to realistic fruition by the stellar Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Naturalistic and utterly believable, rarely has a film been able to dissect a relationship with such savvy attention to detail.

You might have heard that "Blue Valentine" is a story about the dissolution of a relationship, about a couple growing apart. I would contend, however, that it is instead a contemporary love story. Set in alternate timelines, "Blue Valentine" charts Gosling and Williams both at the beginning of their courtship as well as when their marriage is nearing an end. Shot in an easy improvised style, the earlier moments have charming tenderness while the later segments have a quiet poignancy and sadness. Instead of opting for big scenes and pinpointing singular causes, "Blue Valentine" simply has our couple drifting down different paths. Neither is the particular cause of the estrangement, but Williams pulls back emotionally as Gosling holds on frantically.
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Format: DVD
BLUE VALENTINE is a low budget film, telling us about the beginning and end of a marriage. It stars Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams. The movie shows us "now" over the space of just a couple of days, as we see this couple along with their roughly 5 year old child, going through mundane tasks and the final arguments that lead to their split. The film also bounces back to the few weeks or months from their first meeting until the day they get married. We see them about 5 or 6 years younger, naïve & sweetly in-love. When we bounce to the present, we seem them harried, worried and barely able to tolerate each other.

Some would say that the film makes a broad statement on how love or marriage can go from sweet to sour. How we sabotage our happiness. How difficult it is to make a happy marriage (or for the true cynics, how IMPOSSIBLE it is).

I took NO global message from the film. It is powerful, but it is very small in scope. This is because the filmmaker Derek Cianfrance has made a deeply SPECIFIC movie. Gosling & Williams give VERY lived-in performances where we very much feel we are looking at a very particular couple going through very particular joys and disappointments. We feel like we're getting a very intimate peek into what makes this particular couple tick. Thus, it becomes nearly impossible to extrapolate the film to the general subject of "marriage." This is not a failing, per se...but I've certainly read comments on the film that imply that very thing. That is absurd, quite frankly. Each marriage has its own rhythms, pulses, occurrences & secrets. The relationship depicted here feels real, because it is so specific. It also feels small.

To me, the main reason to see this film is for the performances. Both stars do their best work here...
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4 Comments 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been reading so many other reviews, comments and postings of this movie and see people's responses are everywhere. I don't think with this movie that is odd whatsoever. It is opinion scattering. This story did not allow me to look away from its painful scenarios as it is so well acted. The plot is not too complicated, the condition of a love gone over to a completely spiteful demise. Their interactions make you run through some gut-wrenchingly intense emotions. I don't believe you are supposed to feel anywhere near hopeful for this agonizing, emotionally drained couple and for their circumstance when you are through with their story. The entire feel of the movie is dismal. Moody lighting, foreboding overcast days, bored night shots, the claustrophobic feel of their small town, along with the dilapidated look of the main character's home all cast an overall negative shadow over a marriage.

Husband Dean, (Ryan Gosling) and his wife Cindy, (Michelle Williams) are hopelessly convincing together and have a palpable onscreen chemistry. Their younger years are shown through flashbacks including so many uncomfortable exchanges to learn much information of their psychological past selves. These explain so much of what is happening while the movie plays through to the present time. Starting here in their younger lives, which are so important and relevant to the whole disintegration of the marriage. I seemed to see quite a bit about these two at this point in time.

Dean, who seemed the less complicated person to understand for me, was (and remained) hard working and took whatever menial job that he could get by with. I saw him as a pretty interactive person, social with his co-workers, laughing often and empathetic.
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