Please don’t consider going to see this with your spouse of ten years, the one with the crows feet, the stressful job and the flagging libido. Because this might just hammer the nail in your relationship.
It’s a timeworn and cynical ploy, the dismembered-relationship film, complete with weddings scenes and fight scenes juxtaposed over a luscious, wrenchingly pensive Grizzly Bear soundtrack. But for all its hype, Blue Valentine delivers on plot, downbeat tone and dreamy but realistic aesthetics. Uglied-up stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams make it convincingly through endless quarrels and wincingly real sex scenes, though they are sometimes failed by their characters clichéed aspirations and flaws (man gets drunk, woman longs to be taken seriously at work, man gets drunk again..). Director Derek Cianfrance interprets their faltering marriage as one of Hollywood extremes; when we’re not watching a glowing, sunshiny Williams in white lace at the registry office, we’re witnessing her breakdown, unkempt and dressed in medical scrubs, as an inebriated Gosling charges into her workplace. Still, this writer defies you not to be moved to tears by the sight of Ryan Gosling playing a banjo.
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Talent: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka
Release Date: january 14th
Originally published in Totally Dublin