I’ll admit I needed a comedy palette cleanser after seeing Blue Valentine, but I love love love this movie. Going into it I knew it took years and years to come together and Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling were on board with writer/director Derek Cianfrance to do it. That right there compounds the strength of this film so much, I think it will be hard to stop thinking about it, or to not see it again someday.
Essentially, Cindy (Williams) and Dean (Gosling) fall in love and fall apart in this film. It happens through scenes told in past to present, both in the characters’ individual lives and time together. While watching, I tried to pinpoint something that shows why they lost each other but came to realize it didn’t matter, it was that they did. Cianfrance interestingly juxtaposes their building love with the fact that it dwindles and I can only describe it as watching onscreen what a labor of love Blue Valentine was for its creators and cast.
It’s interesting that he says Blue Valentine is the story of him and his siblings struggling to move on from their parents’ divorce. Whatever that must have felt like was clearly written into Dean and Cindy’s relationship on screen. Perhaps they fall apart because they don’t know anything else, but again it doesn’t matter. Everyone involved in making this film took the literal story and made it for an audience to take in. If it had been a book the reader could take the words and apply them to their own life or find some alternate meaning, but as a viewer I took Blue Valentine for its brilliant face value. It has a lot of heart and love, from beginning to end.