Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blue Valentine (USA, 2010)

Nine Things about the Movie Blue Valentine

1. This movie is a brave portrayal of the last part of a relationship, when “Happily Ever After” turns out to be false.

2. It was written and directed by Derek Cianfrance. It stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Three years after this move was made, Gosling and Cianfrance paired up again for “The Place Beyond the Pines”.

3. The movie moves back and forth between two times: The first is the “love at first sight” period when they genuinely believe they will be together forever. The second is the disintegration period some five years later, when they realize “for better or worse” is not what they expected.. The genius here is that eventually you realize you are sometimes seeing almost the same scene being depicted in each period...but with different circumstances.

4. Gosling and Williams have a genuine, believable chemistry. You believe that they are in love, and you believe the bitterness that grows between them. They should have won some kind of acting award for their performances.

5. To make it more realistic, Gosling and Williams acted like a couple before filming the downhill slide. They rented a house together, and lived according to their characters’ budgets.

6. In some of the scenes, Gosling and Williams went without scripted dialogue; they improvised it as they were being filmed.

7. The power of the movie comes not only from the big arguments the couple has, but the small moments, too: the ignored caress, the eyes that hide the truth, the awkward silences.

8. At first, the film got an NC-17 rating, for it’s depiction of Michelle Williams receiving oral sex. The rating was appealed, and Gosling accused the ratings board of sexism and misogyny, noting that plenty of movies depict males receiving oral sex, and it’s not considered a big deal. The rating was changed to R.

9. None of the relationships in the movie are happy, not even the long-lasting ones. Everyone is dealing with the death of love in some form or another. Well, unless they are admitting that they never felt it in the first place.