- Running time:
- 120 minutes
- Ryan Gosling -
- Michelle Williams -
- Faith Wladyka -
- John Doman -
- Jerry Heller
- Mike Vogel -
Six years into their marriage, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) are struggling to keep the relationship together, mostly for the sake of their young daughter. This steady disintegration is juxtaposed with how they met and the giddy early stages of love.
The buzz: When writer-director Derek Cianfrance finished the “Blue Valentine” script in 1998, he assumed he could immediately get it made. Instead it was only the beginning of a 12 year journey ultimately leading to a premiere at the Sundance film festival. “Valentine” also screened at this year’s Cannes film festival and made industry headlines when the MPAA rated it NC-17, a ludicrous decision that was later overturned in favor of a more appropriate R.
The verdict: Just seeing Gosling and Williams together in starring roles would be reason enough to seek out “Blue Valentine.” But Cianfrance does these exceptional young actors justice by giving them two of their deepest, richest roles to date (they’ve already earned Golden Globe nominations and deserve Oscar attention as well). The film’s time shifting narrative cuts straight to the heart of both the optimism and the tragedy of relationships. Each detail in Cianfrance’s finely observed direction and script (co-written with Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne) spurs a greater understanding of what made Dean and Cindy come together and fall apart—and the performances perfectly capture the physical and emotional toll they’ve paid over the years. It’s the heartbreaking opposite of an idealized Hollywood romance, but what really separates “Blue Valentine” from the pack is its unflinching honesty and tenderness in dealing with two people who hoped for the best, never expecting how difficult that might be to achieve.
Did you know? Williams committed herself to the project in 2003 and Gosling came aboard in 2005. When production was finally ready to roll in 2009, Williams nearly dropped out because of a promise she made to stay close to her daughter. Instead, the shoot shifted from California to Scranton, Pennsylvania to allow the actress to commute from home.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Blue Valentine in Indianapolis.
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