Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) are married and have a daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka). Their life is mostly just fine, if not especially great but when the family dog runs away and gets hit by a car, this is kind of the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In an attempt to get things back on track, Dean and Cindy leave Frankie with her grandfather and spend the weekend in a hotel.
Blue Valentine is a heavy movie. It’s pretty damn fantastic but I can still feel it working inside of me; especially Dean (as a character) has me pretty occupied. I’m not sure yet what conclusions I’m going to take away from it. [Which might make this review seem a little disjointed and Dean-centered.]
First of all, the cast was amazing. As was to be expected with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling*. Boy, those two on screen together is a complete spectacle. They’d probably make an Uwe Boll movie great. [Fangirl? Who? Me?] But also Faith Wladyka was really good.
The script was brilliant, too. A very astute appraisal of Dean’s and Cindy’s relationship (which I felt was very contemporary, very up-to-date, with a lot of problems I see in the relationships around me). I liked the way you only slowly uncover their history together throughout the film. And Dean and Cindy were very real characters.
At the end of the film, it looks pretty much like Dean and Cindy are over and I’m not sure whether I’d want them to succeed anyway – Dean behaves like an asshole most of the time. I mean, he has the best intentions and there’s a lot of good there, but there’s also so much wrong.
Not that Cindy is without mistake, but I sympathise with her a lot more. Especially because of some little things like Dean always gets to be the fun one with Frankie [and that’s pretty much the case with almost all younger fathers I know]. And the whole “tell him what’s wrong right this instant or Dean’ll jump off this bridge” scene would have been reason enough for me to break up with the guy.
There were quite a few things that resonated a lot with me. Like when Dean tells Cindy that he never planned to be a husband and father, that that wasn’t his life plan. But now that he is, his whole existence is centered around that fact and he loves it.
In that same scene Cindy tells Dean that he is so talented and why does he choose to throw his life away – he should make something. And Dean asks her that he doesn’t think that he’s responsible for making use of his talents – to what end? He’s happy where he is. [Which makes it even sadder that he doesn’t even seem to notice that Cindy is not at all.]
Summarsing: Don’t miss it but be prepared to be challenged. This is not an easy film to watch.
*It doesn’t hurt either that Ryan Gosling is freaking hot.**
**Also, I’m on a total Ryan Gosling binge now. And did you see what movies he has coming up? Awesome, I tell you, awesome.