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Blue Valentine


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Blue Valentine is one of the best movies I've seen in a good while; and easily one of the saddest. It is an absolutely realistic, heartbreaking account of a relationship from beginning to end. We see it all go down in a jumble of scenes from the very beginning of the relation ship, and the very end of it, all spanning about 6 years or so. A description of this film does not suffice. It is entirely made by its writing and acting.


Michelle Williams is turning out to be a hell of an actress. When the film begins, it was hard for me to imagine why the hell this couple was married. When we cut to the relationship's beginning, I buy every second of it. Williams does well as a mom with a broken spirit, but she does even better as a responsible college girl falling hard for a guy that comes out of left field. Ryan Gosling's job is also a hard one, with Williams as the responsible working mom, and Gosling as the joker dad who barely has a job. In any other movie we would hate this guy. Gosling is funny and plays the role with heart. The guy cares; and when it comes down to it, he will fight harder for the relationship than Williams will.


The writing does a great job of giving these characters depth in a believable way and managing the chronology so that it unfolds like a memory. I have said that this is a sad movie. By the end of it, it is pretty damned depressing. Pop into a theater in the middle of the film though, and you'll see lots of smiles and laughs. In a way, I'm reminded of Grave of the Fireflies (extreme example of a depressing movie, I know). Regardless of the bleak as hell subject matter, there were moments of levity that sold the reality of it and made the sadness of it all hit home. Here, we have a sad couple that won't work out, but we see how they could have. Couples are funny together. Even though they fight and have shitty times they have fun together. This movie totally gets that right. There is no melodrama here. This couple fights, then has sex, then jokes around and gets drunk, and then fights worse than ever. I don't know if I've seen too many more realistic relationships than the one shown here.


Maybe this is obvious by now, but this is not a good date movie. This isn't "E.T. died" sad. This is "Oh my god, this is what most relationships are like, and how most relationships probably end" sad. This takes every couple's fear of "what are the chances this will work out?" and gives you a pretty plausible scenario for that fear. That being said. See it! It's got some of the best writing and best performances I've seen in a while. Has anyone else seen this? Is it out in Miami?


PS. If you like Michelle Williams in this, and don't feel like you are depressed enough; watch her lose her dog while hitchhiking penniless in 2008's phenomenal "Wendy and Lucy."

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I literally just finished watching this film and was coming in to post my initial thoughts.


* I was eager to see this film as it was heralded by many as being a "realistic" account of a relationship. I disagree. I think it's fairly melodramatic, which makes for good entertainment but not necessarily high realism.


* However, it is a more realistic account of a relationship than most Hollywood films...and even indie-dramas.


* I agree w/ Junker in that what separates this film apart is the way it juxtaposes this relationship beginning and ending via flashbacks.


* I also agree it's pretty fucking depressing--especially the last scene.


And maybe it's the Y chromosome in me, but I sided w/ the Gossling character. Dude was robbed of an Oscar nom. Straight up. Yeah, I'm looking @ you Bardem. And Michelle Williams was good, but I think she got the nom mostly b/c of the sex scenes. Oscar is a perverted fuck and loves to see those actresses "ho it up." See Halle Berry in Monster's Ball, Portman in Black Swan, etc., etc., etc.

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