Blue Valentine

DRAMA; 1hr 54min

STARRING: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams

Falling apart: Williams and Gosling

Director Derek Cianfrance keeps his camera so close on Gosling and Williams as their characters negotiate the downslide of their marriage that we’re all but in the frame alongside them. Dean (Gosling) is a house painter, Cindy (Williams) a doctor. They’re a Pennsylvania couple with a little daughter on whom they both dote (Faith Wladyka) and six years of history.


As Cianfrance scrolls from present-day drabness to past possibilities, it emerges that Cindy is preoccupied and tired while Dean is attempting to spice things up between them. This isn’t so surprising in the marital scheme of things; nor are the hopeful young souls they once were. What really holds the attention is the unfiltered honesty of the performances and the contrast they bring to light between then and now. Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne’s screenplay is the furthest port of call possible from a pre-digested Hollywood production. It’s not clear until the very end where these acutely detailed individuals are headed. Still, few things are sadder to witness than the erosion of a relationship.