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Blue Valentine

Blue Valentine

4.4 7
Director: Derek Cianfrance

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Faith Wladyka


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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
As Tolstoy famously began Anna Karenina, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Director Derek Cianfrance's drama Blue Valentine probes the death throes of a marriage that's become so singularly and uniquely unhappy that it will unsettle viewers with its frankness. The film jumps back and forth in time during the relationship of Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), who meet, fall in love, sacrifice for each other, and eventually become toxic for and to each other. A large chunk of the film's action takes place in "The Future Room," an outer-space-themed hotel room the two visit -- at Dean's insistence -- in the hopes of rekindling their dying love with the help of copious amounts of booze, and privacy from their elementary-school-age daughter. This trip is intercut with moments from earlier in their lives -- like when they first met at the retirement home where Cindy's grandmother lived, and when Dean's goofy impulses were amusing to Cindy. As their date night comes to a close, the duo returns to regular life and eventually accepts some hard truths. Movies about crumbling marriages offer actors more chances to show off the range of their talents than almost any other kind of story, and that certainly holds true for Blue Valentine. Fortunately, Cianfrance casted a pair of gifted young performers as his leads. Williams and Gosling are superb here, and if forced to give one an edge over the other, it's Williams by the slimmest of margins. This comes down to the fact that Cindy has a more complex backstory; we see how bad the relationship she was in just before meeting Dean was, and gain a clear understanding of the emotional issues that keep her unsettled. Williams makes sure Cindy's sadness remains at the forefront of the character's outlook on life -- her happiness during the early times with Dean is a brief moment she doesn't know how to sustain. For his part, Gosling possesses a particular kind of fearlessness that's welcome in any actor, and particularly rare for one his age -- he's absolutely uninterested in being sympathetic. When we learn the dark secret at the center of Cindy and Dean's marriage -- the fact that not only allowed them to stay together, but arguably doomed them -- our opinion of his character shifts dramatically. Everything about Dean that both we and Cindy found annoying suddenly appears in a different light; his occasionally callous immaturity is a direct response to the pain he feels at her inability to return his innate selflessness. If it were structured a little tighter, Blue Valentine would hit with the force of Greek tragedy, but Cianfrance strives for a more loose, John Cassavetes-inspired feeling with each of the scenes that makes every conversation an unadorned exploration of often painful feelings -- he's not as interested in building tension as he is in getting the truth of every moment. In lesser hands, that approach would turn this material into little more than an acting exercise -- and there are moments where the film does indulge the actors a little too long. But these are minor quibbles, as Cianfrance's script, his direction, and his flawless casting make Dean and Cindy remarkably specific people. He drills so deep into their emotional cores that anybody who has ever been in a long-term relationship -- successful or not -- will recognize aspects of themselves in these two star-crossed lovers.

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Special Features

Audio commentary with director Derek Cianfrance and co-editor Jim Helton ; The making of Blue Valentine ; Deleted scenes ; Home movies

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ryan Gosling Dean
Michelle Williams Cindy
Faith Wladyka Frankie
John Doman Jerry
Mike Vogel Bobby
Marshall Johnson Marshall
Jen Jones Gramma
Maryann Plunkett Glenda
James Benatti Jamie
Barbara Troy Jo
Carey Westbrook Charley
Ben Shenkman Dr. Feinberg
Eileen Rosen Mimi
Enid Graham Professor
Ashley Gurnari Checker
Jack Parshutich Billy
Samii Ryan Amanda
Mark Benginia Concierge
Timothy Liveright Doctor
Tamara Torres Maria
Robert Russell Justice of the Peace
Michelle Nagy Music Teacher
Felicia Reid Nurse
Mel Jurdem Old Man
Alan Malkin Cab Driver
Derik Belanger Tony
Isabella Frigoletto Child #1
Madison Ledergerber Child #2
Jaime Jensen Pregnant Woman

Technical Credits
Derek Cianfrance Director,Screenwriter
Erin Benach Costumes/Costume Designer
Damian Canelos Sound Mixer
Oliver Cary Camera Operator
Mariela Comitini Asst. Director
Joey Curtis Screenwriter
Cami Delavigne Screenwriter
Doug Dey Executive Producer
John Doman Casting
Carrie Fix Co-producer
Dan Flosdorf Sound/Sound Designer
Ryan Gosling Executive Producer
Grizzly Bear Score Composer
Jimmy Helton Editor
Lynette Howell Producer
Jen Jones Casting
Jack Lechner Executive Producer
Alex Orlovsky Producer
Scott Osman Executive Producer
Andrij Parekh Cinematographer
Ron Patane Editor
Jamie Patricof Producer
Maryann Plunkett Casting
Joe Rudge Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Shenkman Casting
Cindy Tolan Casting
Mike Vogel Casting
Inbal Weinberg Production Designer
Michelle Williams Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Blue Valentine
1. Chapter 1 [6:57]
2. Chapter 2 [6:09]
3. Chapter 3 [5:58]
4. Chapter 4 [3:25]
5. Chapter 5 [9:53]
6. Chapter 6 [3:12]
7. Chapter 7 [7:20]
8. Chapter 8 [7:18]
9. Chapter 9 [3:32]
10. Chapter 10 [12:32]
11. Chapter 11 [9:21]
12. Chapter 12 [6:50]
13. Chapter 13 [2:54]
14. Chapter 14 [5:49]
15. Chapter 15 [6:19]
16. Chapter 16 [9:14]


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Blue Valentine 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Airi More than 1 year ago
This movie is a movie that can really tear you to pieces, and it may be because it is so real. It let's you feel the feelings as if you are actually in that situation. It is a movie that shows something that really happens in everyday life, and if that's not a great movie, then I don't know what could be.
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