Blue Valentine

By Christian Bell

Country: US
Running time: 114min
Certificate: TBC
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Featuring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams

Released: 14/2/11

Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine tells the love story of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) from its beginning to its end and features powerful performances from both leads.  The film intercuts two timelines and shows the contrasts and echoes between the two brilliantly.  The present timeline, shot in beautiful yet clinical digital cinematography, takes place over two days as Dean makes a desperate effort to salvage his doomed marriage.  The second timeline shows the couple getting together, shot in wonderfully nostalgic 16mm.

While it is an astonishingly well made film, it's not a particularly enjoyable or entertaining experience.  The (at times) joyful scenes that show the beginnings of Michelle Williams and Ryan Goslings relationship and the believability of the characters make the eventual breakup all the more difficult to bare whilst the later scenes make the audience feel like an awkward third party caught in the middle of a yelling match, which is not somewhere that anyone would choose to be.

Probably the films greatest weakness is that in skipping the middle of the story, jumping right from birth to death, we never fully understand what it was that drove the two apart.  Was their marriage doomed from the start or were they driven apart by something else?  The film gives us glimpses but these do not allow us to make anything more than assumptions.

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About Christian Bell

Christian Bell A graduate of the Metropolitan Film School, where he made short films about tortured misunderstood artists, Christian now devotes his time to the Raindance cause in the hope that he can somehow make amends for his crimes against cinema. 

He spends all too much of his time watching films no-one has ever heard of and then preaching the word to all who will listen.

The rest of the time, Christian is an editor and he has recently launched Raindance's new Post-Production Services.  Take a look here.


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