Blue Valentine review

An indie epic romantic drama, swinging back and forth between a difficult present and a reckless past for an ultimately troubled couple.

Derek Cianfrance’s direction is incredibly bold, on the macro-level, with a clever, inter-weaving structure, and shot-by-shot, effectively using handheld camera to draw the audience into very naturalistic proceedings. A good film, let a lone a great one, can’t be made without a first-class script, of course, and that, too, must be mentioned for contributing to something that feels so real, telling a classic story of youthful, carefree love gradually declining into destruction.

On the acting front, Michelle Williams, who has to be admired for her role choices, is at her absolute best and Ryan Gosling produces a stunning effort, one of the most nuanced, heartfelt performances of recent years. It will be a minor travesty when he doesn’t win the best actor Oscar. They are brilliant individually but also exhibit blazing chemistry, utterly convincing in their love, their apathy, and their anger towards each other.

There is so much to admire in Blue Valentine. Multi-layered and enthralling, it is lovingly crafted and exceptionally rewarding as a result.

5 out of 5

13th Jan 2011 | Official site | On IMDb