Blu-ray Blue Valentine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 7026968),
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Blue Valentine [Blu-ray]
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A relationship is charted from its promising beginning to its sad collapse in this independent drama from Derek Cianfrance. Dean (Ryan Gosling) meets Cindy (Michelle Williams) when they're in their late teens; he's working for a moving company, she's a college student visiting her elderly grandmother at a home for the elderly. Cindy is dating Bobby (Mike Vogel), her boyfriend from high school, but as she gets to know Dean better, a mutual attraction grows between them. Years later, Dean and Cindy are married and have a daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka), but they're clearly not as happy as they once were; Dean loves his daughter but feels distant from his wife, they have to look after an elderly relative (John Doman), and when Cindy bumps into Bobby while running errands, it's clear he still holds a grudge against her. Dean and Cindy go away for a weekend together at a hotel, but it doesn't take long for them to realize that the magic isn't coming back. BLUE VALENTINE received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, Faith Wladyka, John Doman
3 stars out of 5 -- "Like a Cassavetes movie, BLUE VALENTINE doesn't so much present a plot as riff inventively around an emotional predicament."
"[A] lushly heart-wrenching and beautifully told tale....There are real demons in BLUE VALENTINE..."
"[The film] alternates between scenes of the couple's glorious beginnings and bitter end, while employing a visual style that corresponds to the mood..."
4 stars out of 4 -- "Gosling and Williams have the most palpable chemistry of any screen couple this year, never striking a false note in this achingly tender tale of a love that implodes before our eyes."
"[T]he performances are fleshed out and telling. Gosling layers his character's charm with an eruptive and credible anger."
3 stars out of 4 -- "The results can be almost unbearably harrowing but also deeply cathartic, as viewers create their own meanings within Dean and Cindy's singular downward spiral."
4 stars out of 5 -- "You won't see a more honest movie in 2011 -- and that's a promise."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[N]ot to be missed. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give two of the most explosive and emotionally naked performances you will see anywhere."
Included in USA Today's "10 Best Films Of 2010" -- "A heartbreaking work of staggering poignancy..."
"The heartbreaking brilliance of this film, which the director wrote with Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne, lies in its contradictions."
Wall Street Journal
"BLUE VALENTINE's fearless candor and extreme emotional intensity should be a source of pride for everyone involved in this remarkable, utterly wrenching film." -- Grade: A
"Ms. Williams is, as ever, heartbreakingly precise in every scene..."
New York Times
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Derek Cianfrance, the film's writer and director, observes with great exactitude the birth and decay of a relationship. The film is alive in its details."
4 stars out of 5 -- "You might feel like averting your gaze at times, but don't -- performances this penetrating are a sight to see."
"[T]he film is firstly an actor's piece -- a two-hander between Williams and Gosling, who both deliver truthful, committed performances, explored through improvised dialogue and action."
Sight and Sound
"[The film gives] Gosling and Williams both the motive and the means to create something extraordinary, a valentine that actually says something true about being in love."
Los Angeles Times
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