Blue Valentine Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 12, 2014
Brilliant drama, Blue Valentine manages to really set the tone of an atmospheric picture that is elevated by a strong cast of talented actors that simply possesses great chemistry on-screen. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, a director who is skilled at crafting, thought provoking, absorbing dramas, successfully delivers a film that is powerful, and boasts a great story that is only elevated by its cast. That's what makes this movie work well, the simple story, which is basic, and it is build upon, these two actors who really stand out due to the fact that they're superbly talented and bring out the best elements. The film is well paced, and though it is a bit slow, you are simply captivated at what the characters go through as they're very well fleshed out, and you care for both of them. Also I found the film had a melancholic atmosphere that lingered throughout, therefore it brought you deeper into the film's story. Cianfrance is a talented director, and here he displays a talent to tell a powerful, simple story that definitely manages to stand out over really big budget movies that try to captivate the viewer with big effects, poor acting and clichéd plots. However Blue Valentine is a film that breaks the cycle, and offers you something truly different. By telling a simple story, Derek Cianfrance goes a different route, and he tells a real story that follows two people that can really be anyone. His style is terrific, his sense of filmmaking is unique an unmatched, and he would later perfect his skills on the masterpiece, The Place Beyond the Pines. If you enjoy an engaging drama that tells a great story, you definitely shouldn't pass up Blue Valentine. This film stands out among other genre films simply for the fact that it has a powerful story and great performances.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2014
Well acted but slow and depressing.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2011
"Blue Valentine" will make every one of your heart strings fall to the floor, but in the best way possible. It is so true-to-life that it becomes very hard to watch, as you see the characters on screen go through so much happiness and so much heartache at the same time. It is definitely not your typical romance flick. There is more heart in this film than any romantic venture I've taken in the longest time. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams have amazing chemistry, whether they are in good or bad standings throughout the film. It is beautifully directed and perfectly scripted, leaving a lot of the emotion to run through the actors, and not so much through dialogue. This film, as far as romantics go, is near perfect! I love it! But be warned, it will leave you gutless.
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2013
Dean: I didn't want to be somebody's husband and I didn't want to be somebody's dad, that wasn't my goal in life. But somehow it was. I work so I can do that.

"A Love Story"

Blue Valentine is pessimistic filmmaking, but great pessimistic filmmaking. It's what you'd almost label as an anti-love story and I would feel comfortable calling it a cautionary film as well. This isn't a romance film in the form we are used to seeing. It's not all happy endings and sunshine. This is a romance film for the divorce generation. The utter lack of optimism throughout the movie will definitely be a turnoff to some, but if you can appreciate a movie for being something different, then Blue Valentine is worth a look.

Blue Valentine follows a marriage between Dean and Cindy. It cuts between the present and the past. We see Dean and Cindy's marriage slowly unraveling as we see them fall in love too. I think the movie is brilliantly put together. Everything works in the order we're given, even though it isn't the order of the events. It works in a style that is close to, but not exactly along the lines of 500 Days of Summer. 

The movie hooked me right off the bat and the reason is because of the two leads. Ryan Gosling and Michele Williams are two of the best in the business right now and together, they are more than amazing. Gosling has a way of just bringing power to his performances that few actors are able to do nowadays. Williams also has an extreme power to her performance. The chemistry between the two is off the charts. They have to play two people falling in love and falling out of love and they do it with such ease and precision. 

This isn't a film for everyone. The independent and gritty feel of the film may be off-putting or maybe even unnerving to some. However, if you are like me and love independent films that are honest, even if the honesty isn't what we want to hear; then this is a film for you. 
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2013
I thought it was pretty good. It was shot very creatively, they were nice to watch. It really shows the reality of marriage and why 50% of them end in divorce. The film is edited just like 500 Days of Summer, but I think 500 Days did it better. When the movie was flashing back and forth I felt like I was missing some things. I dont quite understand why Gosling turned into such a douchebag. In the beginning he was a little obnoxious, but kind of adorable, and at the end he was like an alcoholic jackass. Not sure how that happened and I wish I had seen the transition from obnoxious cutie to raging drunk.

I thought all of the performances were great, but I didnt really like the characters. I liked Dean as a young boy, but not when he was older. I didnt like the wife at all. She seemed like a slutty mcbitcherson. 25 sexual partners? And then shes with Dean and Bobby at the same time and gets pregnant? What a dirty hoe. It seemed like throughout the movie Dean loved her, but she didnt love him. Actually now that I think about it she is probably the reason Dean drinks so much. Spending the rest of your life with that bitch? Godspeed....

-typed from my ipad, apologize for any errors-
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2013
The film plays with our perceptions from the first minute onward. We quickly form an idea of the father, passed out in a chair mid-day, wearing filthy clothes, and as soon as he opens his mouth, we do a double take. As the two timelines unfold of love lost and love gained, our grasp on their relationship is continually loosened and tightened, mirroring our emotional flow with the married couple's shifting emotional states of adoration, confusion, disappointment, and exhaustion. The craftsmanship here - the direction, acting, editing, and soundtrack - precisely explores this story in earnest.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2012
I'm not sure why I found this film so disappointing. Ryan Gosling's hairpiece was part of it - he just isn't that old - and the other problem was that I just didn't care about the characters... the scene that would make me do so was buried in the middle of the film, so for the most part I was just getting annoyed sitting through one flashback after another... and the most charming scene was in all the trailers, so the rest of the movie was just "degeneration of a relationship," done in a really hipster-ish, immature way, with a garbled chronology that must have been designed to make a mundane story more engaging. Usually I like films that get down in the dirt, but for the most, I just didn't buy this one - the melodrama just didn't match the story, and I didn't believe there was as much pain here as the director wanted me to see. Unfortunately mediocre, even with two solid young actors carrying it.
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2012
With all the rave reviews, I suppose I expected a little more than what I got. Maybe it's just Michelle Williams who I don't like or maybe the story just didn't have that emotional punch for me.
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2011
A profoundly moving, gripping examination of a marriage on the rocks, carried hugely on the beyond amazing performances of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Rarely emotionally resonant and intense, Blue Valentine will stay with you long after viewing. It's definitely not easy to watch, but in the end, it's unforgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2010
Like the movie Young Adult.... I do not get why this movie would be considered entertainment! It has no redeeming value.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2012
Great cast. Raw story of young love and how their relationship becomes stale. Shifts between how they met and the present.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2011
I definitely understand why people love this, it's a eerily realistic showing of a young couple falling in love juxtaposed to their subsequent falling out of love. Performances are top notch from the main two but for some reason I just didn't really like either character. Both of them came across quite badly and I didn't sympathize with anyone other than the child. I don't know if it's because I see similarities in my own life or just because it didn't hit very hard or if it's something entirely different. It's definitely worth watching, but not if you want to feel good once the credits role.
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2012
In Blue Valentine all the ingredients are there for a memorable film - terrific acting from the two main characters, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; some very arty and imaginative camera work; a story that is packed with emotional punch... and yet, while good, this film fails to be great, never quite reaching the emotional punch that the very well filmed ending aimed for.

Without revealing anything out of the ordinary, I'll mention that the film starts out with a scene in present day involving the loss of the family dog (where you witness how easily Gosling interacts with his daughter, and how tension lies just beneath the surface between he and Williams). From there the story moves slowly forward, while backtracking to fill in the blanks concerning who these two are, and what they were. I was amazed how Gosling in particular pulled off the difference in age, with glasses and receding hairline.

There are some background scenes that I found superfluous - especially those concerning William's old high school boyfriend, and I found the big deal scene at the motel, while raw, ultimately falling short of "Leaving Lost Vegas" greatness. On a side note, I've never understood the compulsion of wanting to "get wild", meaning go to a hotel, get drunk, and then have sex. I get the hotel and sex thing, but, if you're trying to reconnect with your mate, why do you have to get drunk to do it? To me that would just get in the way of any true emotion and connection... but what do I know?

In the end, you have a familiar tale concerning falling out of love. The film tries to examine how this can happen, and while not a revelation, does an adequate job of showing how, after time, things become rote to the point where you don't really hear what the other person is saying, and subsequently are put off by bullet point words, instead of trying to understand or appreciate the emotional content of what's behind the words. As Williams says towards the film's end, "blah, blah, blah", indicating that she "thinks" she's heard it all before. Odd that I found her character the "cold" one, while Gosling came across as much more straightforward, if perhaps needy. As he observes to a friend early in the film, "men are the ones more into true love than a woman. A guy thinks he'll never find "the one", and then wham, that's it, she's the one, while a woman will get to a certain point and then "settle". You know, it's like she's weighing her options... he's got a decent job and he's not bad looking." The film makes it clear that Gosling truly loves his family, though you're not quite sure about Williams - which makes that earlier proclamation an insightful one. Perhaps if I felt that Williams loved Gosling as much as he obviously loves her, the film would have had more impact for me; though I will admit that the very last scene still brought a tear to my eye; yet probably not for the reason intended by the script.

If I could I'd rate this a 75... just for the record.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2010
well shot, well acted, and with near perfect dialogue. with all that going for it one would think the film was excellent. the problem is that the story itself wasnt the least bit convincing. the falling in love story was great, i can see why they loved each other. the falling out of love story was non existent. cindy was the more intolerable character, and she was the one who had the breakdown. dean wasnt perfect, but overall he was a decent guy who loved his family, and nowhere in the film do we see where that wasnt good enough for cindy. i just wasnt convinced by any of it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2011
It's one of the heartbreaking truth of real life. Love seems amazing at first. The world will look colorful and a happy place to live in. But when you start to take your love ones for granted, it will backfire. I actually felt bad for Dean whereas he sacrificed so much. Not every love story meant to have happy ending I guess. I would have given it at least 4 stars but I don't like sad ending. Not my cup of tea.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2010
This movie hurt me with its breathtaking truth in every frame. This is a very frustrating film to see and I don't think everybody will fully understand how human it managed to be. The direction and screenplay seem to make it look hopeless, but yet it happens to be more hopeful than any other romantic comedy that tries to talk about love.
This movie hits you hard, only because it is so true. Acknowledge that or don't, but it'll hurt in the end.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2011
Great film! Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are both stunning...
Super Reviewer
½ December 14, 2010
A careful pace and three-dimensional characters are what makes this film so realistic and hard not to relate to. What a wonderful story, bitter and painful, it is a perfectly sincere portrait of a relationship in collapse and how the weight of real life can irremediably damage the happy ending dream of a couple living together.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2011
I will hand it to them. They did an excellent job of making their relationship seem bright and cheery at first, and just loveless and awful in the end. However, I also have to say that watching a movie that makes you feel trapped in a loveless marriage is quite depressing.
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