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Generally favorable reviews- based on 273 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 22 out of 273

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  1. Aug 28, 2014
    Much like life, Blue Valentine is often difficult to match and experience. It's unsettling and heart-wrenching throughout. Almost simultaneously, beauty is able to arise within. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams both give some of their finest performances to date.
  2. Oct 10, 2013
    There's no denying that watching Blue Valentine, a film that tells the story of the complete breakdown of a couple's marriage is not an easy watch (especially for someone just married!) and is certainly an intense, claustrophobic experience, as the audience never really gets a break from the two characters but honestly I was slightly disappointed that the film didn't turn out to be quite the emotional heart-breaker I was expecting. Perhaps in anticipation I had turned my heart to it's complete stone setting. That's not to take anything away from the film's leads who gave brilliantly sincere and convincing performances as the troubled couple. Special comment for the 'Future Room' which with it's tacky futuristic decor and lighting must have been director Derek Cianfrance's ideal shooting location! Expand
  3. Jun 30, 2013
    Contemporary cinema is a juggernaut producer of romance films tracing a couples' elevation of compassion to a seemingly immortal love. This commonplace depiction of love certainly evokes a grandiose falsity: love is easy and love invincibly endures. When the last frame vanishes from the screen, the dominating denouement is of course one teeming with superficial catharsis. With Blue Valentine, it's as if Derek Cianfrance, the film's co-writer and director, felt that the phrase "gag me" had floated through his thoughts one too many times. Just as Dean (Ryan Gosling), the husband of the film's centerpiece marriage, ruefully admits, "Maybe I've seen too many movies, you know, love at first sight?" Among the ubiquity of portrayals of conquering affection, Cianfrance's Valentine audaciously confronts the pernicious obstacles of relationships that other films apprehensively hurdle and dodge.

    When we first meet Dean and Cindy (Michelle Williams), they are married couple parenting a bubbly daughter Franky (Faith Wladyka). The film's first 15 minutes are surely reminiscent of many parents' typical morning, as Dean and Cindy soldier on to their separate jobs, painting and nursing. Nevertheless, as drama strikes the family with the death of their beloved dog, we begin to realize that Dean and Cindy's marriage is in mid crumble.

    The film advances in a non-linear fashion, jumping back and forth from the early formations of the relationship to current time. The juxtaposition of Dean and Cindy's blooming interest for one another against their distinctly deteriorated state proficiently elaborates what Cianfrance intends to address. In one moment, as Cindy skips playfully to Dean's ukelele performance, it is confounding to imagine how this darling unity could possibly be anything else. The time flipping is charged with such a hyper contrast of building ardor and corroding tension that Valentine drags the viewer along a whirl of undulating emotion. Part of Cianfrance's genius is pitting the slowly culminating eruption alongside an equally forceful bonding.

    Let there be no debate, Gosling and Williams astound. Seldom do two characters band to form a relationship that conjures nearly simultaneous heartrending and refreshing sensations with the effectiveness exhibited in Valentine. Williams lassos viewers with her inhabitation of the severe character arc, bridging the slightly younger sanguine persona and the hopeless mother version of Cindy. Gosling has seldom entranced as well as during the hospital scene, the climactic portion of the film. Arriving drunk to Cindy's place of work, Dean has come with no purpose in mind, only to diffuse an enormity of pent frustration. While the tension unfurls in real time, one is desperately tempted to keel over in sickness at Dean's paining as he is stripped down to nothingness at the hand of Cindy's vicious words.

    Indeed, Valentine tackles head on agonizing truths about the vulnerability of love and the mortality of feelings, but the film holds an interesting structure. The flashbacks collectively represent a time span of multiple months, but the scenes in current time sum to just over a single day. Years of time sit in between the two narratives. This formula makes for a truly enlightening cinematic experience, for without it, the film would simply be a story of meaningless patchwork. The film's gaping hole is fitting; Valentine does not intend to dole out all the answers. If it did, the film would take a seat tantamount to a myriad of others in the romance genre. The history of Dean and Cindy is one of sophisticated love, one that unassumingly reaches into the dark, unknowing of what is to come.
  4. Jun 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Finally, a romantic film that has not a happy ending. I was waiting for a movie like Blue Valentine for many years. I liked the originality of the film and Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams should have won that oscar. I like the fact that it is realistic as many romantic movies go with a happy ending which is often bad and lame. Blue Valentine is a great movie and maybe one of the best of its kind Expand
  5. May 27, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. blue valeintine was the sad,honest movie of love.the love which sopuse to be endless,but it is ended long ago,at least for her.
    the performances where great and flash backs to the past were so believable.i creied at the end,not for the two of them but for the beautiful baby girl who deserves a lot more. I think that was a selfish decesion of the mother to decide to raise her without father,she didnt have this right.all she had to do was give everything a second chance
  6. Apr 27, 2013
    Realistic and honest, and both beautiful and tragic, Blue Valentine grips you and never lets go. Gosling and Williams give astounding performances, truly heartbreaking, devastating performances. This film is unforgettable and powerful. One of the best films of 2010!
  7. Feb 22, 2013
    Tension is the name of the game for exhaused lovers Ryan Gosling and Williams. The film cuts and back and forth in time filling in the gaps. The authenticity of this film cannot be understated.
  8. Feb 6, 2013
    I think the most accurate description of this film would be "beautifully depressing". Definitely a movie that makes you think, especially after its conclusion.
  9. Jan 14, 2013
    "Blue Valentine" portrayed all the aspects of relationships other films are too afraid to capture; the raw emotion of vulnerability to the apathy of love lost. With its laid-back direction and cinematography, Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling give a performance that really makes you think.
  10. Jan 13, 2013
    The two central performances from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are truly excellent. They take the audience through a whole range of emotions and back again! The film is shot using quite a lot of hand-held camera; but not too shaky; which makes for a realistic feel to the drama. To me it seemed a little odd to show just the beginning and the end of the relationship; maybe I missed something, but I wanted to know what happened in the middle. Could be it was doomed from the start. I enjoyed this one and would watch it again (making sure I was in the mood first); definitely worthy of my recommendation.

  11. Jan 8, 2013
    Beautiful.It shows two different parts of the relationship. The only really big criticism I have is to not know what happened between them that led to this.
  12. Nov 17, 2012
    Heart-warming in its beauty, yet heart-wrenching in its tragedy, Blue Valentine is the perfect romantic drama. The chemistry between Gosling and Williams sizzles and crackles, while everyone and everything else is just a nullified rush of noise.
  13. May 17, 2012
    Blue Valentine is well made but it does suffer from uneven pacing. However in the end you feel for these characters and so deperately want them to find love. It is Gosling and Williams that carry this film because much of it seemed unscripted and was left to the actors to fill in the blanks and this technique works marvelously.
  14. Jan 26, 2012
    Strong acting with a competent script, what could go wrong? Not always the easiest movie to watch since it's about the breakdown of a relationship, and one where the power is WAY out of balance. Sad. Not certain who the target audience is, but, if you like drama, there's plenty here with wonderful performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gossling. Some scenes had me crawling out of my skin. The one minor detail I didn't personally care for were the number of tight shots, which arguably added to not only the tension, but a sense of voyeurism / viewing from a safe distance. Nothing here is over the top, everything is nicely understated, and pushed just far enough, which is never easy to accomplish. Nicely done. Expand
  15. Nov 30, 2011
    Blue Valentine is a masterpiece. Why? Because there are amazing performances by Williams and Gosling, naturalistic script and shot. The movie shows the real life.
  16. Nov 16, 2011
    I am so tired of the mid-late 90's documentary film approach of what could otherwise be a captivating story. Personally, I just can't absorb myself in the story or even connect with the characters when you are so obviously looking over someone's shoulder at their life. I watch movies to escape my reality for a brief window in time and the film style used here actually distances the viewer from the story rather than pull them in. Don't let my opinion turn you away though, as they don't use this approach across the board but it is present enough to ruin the experience for this fan of escapism. Expand
  17. Nov 13, 2011
    The movie focus is the depiction of a broken marriage between two working class people,Dean and Cindy.What could have been a great movie becomes a failed occasion to portray an emotionally absorbing tale of an ended love story(as it was in a terrific movie such "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind"). Despite the movie boasts great performances by the two leading actors,particularly by Williams,the big problem is the lack of a solid script that doesn't offer the chance to know about the characters and their love story.I would not call them insignificant informations because when you decide to make a movie about a couple and their fallen marriage you have to provide the audience of a plausible explanation of their relationship.Without that we struggle to be involved with the two leads.With "Blue Valentine" we exactly don't know why they fell in love and why after years they can't stand each other and why their love ends.We are left with a series of disjointed bouncing back and forth scenes of their former happy days that have not much to say,except that they go quite well together in the first chapters and scenes of their declined relationship.As I said before,the acting is solid(to compensate the holes in the script).Ryan Gosling was very good but it's Michelle Williams who gives a great performance that is the best thing of the entire movie.She deserved her Oscar nomination for her outstanding performance.Gosling portrays a man who tries to understand why her wife doesn't love him anymore and a good father although he has a scantly work that clearly makes Cindy feel quite disappointed and he is often drunk.I suspect that Cianfrance takes the side of the female lead although she is the most unlikeable of both of the leading characters and due to the troublesome script we hardly understand why she was in love and why she became so cold towards her husband.I simply found "Blue Valentine" the most overrated movie of 2010 and I don't know if this movie wouldn't have struggled to win many praises if it wasn't for the Weinstein campaign.My vote of the movie is 5/10. Expand
  18. j30
    Sep 20, 2011
    Great performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling makes the movie worthwhile.
  19. Sep 17, 2011
    Very good movie. I do not like drama movies, but if they are good, I can stand them. This movie is slow, but I do not mind slow movies. It is not for one who just wants action and a fast pace movie. But it really does a good job showing the contrast in the couples life.
  20. Sep 16, 2011
    Mesmerizing picture of love and marriage. Magnificent performance by two its lead, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Love, even its hurting you, it still beautiful, and... never try to surrender with the tests.
  21. Aug 29, 2011
    Blue Valentine is such a richly alive piece of cinema that I canâ
  22. Aug 5, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is already in my top 10 - definitely one of my favorites. I absolutely love this movie. It's really beautiful to me in so many ways. The brilliant cinematography complimented the realism and truth in the acting. Gosling and Williams have such passionate, beautiful, and tragic chemistry and it really flows through the entire movie. The plot of intertwining past and present is very smart and, despite what one might think, does not confuse the audience - it helps to give meaning and emotional value to events throughout the film. The ending is my favorite part. With the audience knowing in their hearts that it's truly over between the two characters, they're still hanging on to that one shred of hope that they'll somehow work it out. The mise-en-scène of the last few minutes of the film going into the credits is complimented with its perfect match of cinematography to convey a beautiful representation of the Americanism in the separation of Dean and Cindy. The wonderful use of a telephoto lens to separate the planes of the characters and the scenery really makes the scene. When Dean is walking away, the fireworks present a great symbolism of America and how divorce is very American - a lens that was previously used in the film to bring these two characters together on the screen is now used to tear them apart on the screen. In the final moment when Frankie runs to her dad but is sent back to her mom, Dean and Cindy are never on the same plane on the screen. When Dean is in focus, Cindy is blurred, and vice versa - this is just a really creative, subtle, yet brilliant way to show these two characters being separated after all they've been through. I really grew to love and care for these characters. Blue Valentine made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry - it got inside my heart and tugged at its strings in almost every way possible. I give this 10 stars because I could not find a flaw in the film if I tried. Expand
  23. Jul 26, 2011
    Feels like real life, I strongly sympathized with both characters at different points. The movie is totally absorbing. Both actors do an absolutely fantastic job!
  24. Jul 6, 2011
    blue valentine is too much; too real, too close to the heart, too close for comfort. it not sterilized and the rawness of the movie - fueled by great acting and cinematography - may be more than what audiences can take, especially if they can relate on a personal level to the inexplicable demise of the bonds that bind and define us.
  25. Jul 1, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blue Valentine is the slow rise and fall of a relationship. I'm sure some people watched this and thought "why would anyone want to watch a downer movie like this.?" Well I think because it's a honest portrayal of what can happen in a relationship and some people find that hard to watch. Movies like this aren't full of bells an whistles and don't leave you with happy feelings at the end. What it does do is a give you a look into the birth and destruction of a relationship and how we are capable of hurting the ones closest to us. This will be too close for comfort for most people. Expand
  26. Jun 26, 2011
    The film is definitely bleak but not at all depressing.It shows the development and collapse of a relationship in a scarily realistic way.Gosling and Williams are superb.It's not an easy watch but it's emotionally rewarding.
  27. Jun 19, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Beautifully acted with compelling moments. Gosling plays the underdog romantic victim (w/ or w/out a substance abuse problem) very well. (i.e.The Notebook, Half Nelson, Lars & the Real Girl) There's the suckerpunch of comedic expectation that is woven with flaw and vulnerability to create an emotional stronghold on the audience. At every turn there was unpalatable devastation that never let up. I left feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. A few distractions: Williams had an impeccably maintained manicure and they owned a newish, seemingly well-maintained car. It really didn't make sense for a couple that seemingly struggled to make ends meet. Overall, I think Gosling truly deserved an Oscar nomination for this role. There were several remarkable key scenes: overwhelm and anger on the bridge, tormented begging after the fight at the end, and especially the desperate search for his wedding ring in the bushes). I'm not in the film industry, but as a viewer, Gosling's performance made the space between my eyes and nose hurt--that sort of sting before you might cry...perpetual upset. Expand
  28. Jun 16, 2011
    It's quite slow, yes, but it's also quite beautiful - just like life. It's a great romance and well done acting. The credits on this movie were also exceptional. A very good movie.
  29. May 31, 2011
    Raw, real, and unapologetic in it's story, acting, and emotional resonance. This is not a film that one can watch over and over again, but the performances are superb, especially with Gosling. One of the year's finest films!
  30. Lyn
    May 29, 2011
    The fact that these actors seem so real makes this movie-watching experience pretty miserable -- different, from, for example, a movie like "The Break-Up" in which you never believe a moment of the Vince & Jennifer hook-up and so can't be much bothered when the "relationship" fails. I though Gosling and Williams were equally terrific; I know she got the Oscar nomination, but suspect she got extra points for nudity. One problem I had was that, with the back-and-forth between the beginning and bitter end of their relationship, we lose some understanding we needed about how they coped in the middle. In this some of the reviews & previews are misleading . . . it's not about a relationship that started out wonderful and went downhill. It's about a relationship that started out with big, serious problems and somehow endured for a while. Expand
  31. May 27, 2011
    A movie so relentlessly depressing that by the end I felt defeated. There wasn't one moment in the film that made me cry or feel a wave of sadness, but as the credits rolled I realized just how sad I felt. The characters are so frustratingly stuck that it was devastating to watch, and even more devastating to realize just how realistically they acted. I grew up in a home where my parents fought constantly, and Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams perfectly emulated that experience. Expand
  32. May 22, 2011
    The movie centers on few things in life like love,relationships,instant marriages due to some unwanted reasons and other **** portrays"the **** quite beautifully and how complicated it really gets for some of the families out there which might have formed due to some or many unavoidable reasons.I personally felt that the female character was at fault here - young,restless,prone to committing some serious mistakes and later bend life at her own will with adjacent to the mood swings which we have seen getting portrayed regularly with some of the really major romantic movie genre.And which actually sucks for all the goody tissue guys out there who are not good with money but actually respect the integrity of their family very well and are willed to do anything to keep it at its best state of condition. Expand
  33. May 21, 2011
    Blue Valentine presents both the "blue" and the "valentine" of love. I found much of the beauty of the film in its editing, cutting between past and present seamlessly, blending the unexpected arrival of love, its ability to heal and surprise those whom it strikes, and then, sadly, following its destructiveness when lost. All of this is done with cleverly subtle direction, and passionately powerful acting. Expand
  34. May 20, 2011
    Love it. Very good screenwriting for this film. The story line is very good. Very good acting in this movie. This movie should of got nominated for an Oscar. I don't know why this movie up for best movie. Really good movie that i suggest every body should watch. It keep you into the movie. Very good romance and drama movie. also comedy this movie had some funny parts in it. I think everybody will enjoy a movie like this. Expand
  35. May 16, 2011
    'I am Sam' meets 'Raging Bull', and if you've seen either of these movies, then you don't need to see this one.

    This is a slow, painfully boring, unbelievable, implausible film. How could this woman carry on a relationship with this mentally handicapped man for so many years? Why is she leaving him now?

    On a technical level, everything about this film is good or better, but the sum
    of the parts is far less impressive than the parts themselves.


    If this had been about a fling month long relationship out of desperation, I could have understood it, but if you can keep it going for more than couple of years, then there's no reason they should divorce now.

    What a hopelessly negative, banal, boring, stupid film... I'd give the parts, the scenes, the acting, the editing and shooting a 9/10, but the film itself is 1/10.

    The only thing memorable about this film is how bad it is, and ANYONE who gave this film a positive review is BRAINLESS.
  36. May 11, 2011
    I like these two actors and they do a good job acting in this movie but the movie is just..we'll it is a REAL downer. I don't require that movies always end happy or be happy. I like 21 Grams it was sad but deeply meaningful and interesting. This movie does not come off that way, this movie is just sad....period. Remember how you felt as a kid when your hampster died? That is how you will feel at the end of this movie. Expand
  37. May 10, 2011
    I really admire Ryan Gosling. I mean, how many actors would go so far as to make an apology film to make up for previous cinematic slip ups. In Blue Valentine, we have the complete anti-thesis to the schmaltzy, overly sentimental, "The Notebook". I can almost envision him in an interview promoting the film stating, "Look guys, I'm really sorry about 'The Notebook'. You have to understand, I needed to do populist film to bolster my career. If I didn't do it, I wouldn't have been able to be involved with films like this." Thanks Gosling! Melodrama is replaced by stark realism and there's mutual loathing instead of romance. The hand held camera is stylish with out ever becoming annoying and the sensational acting goes along way towards complementing these cinema verite techniques. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film, is that, despite the mundane subject mater, the film succeeds in being lovably charming. I'm not going to lie, I giggled on more than one occasion because of Dean Pereira's (Gosling) antics. So I say again, Thanks man. Expand
  38. Apr 5, 2011
    This movie has been one of the best romance ever seen in my **** life. Michelle and Ryan are amazing, everything you need to broadcast that film was memorable, I loved
  39. POV
    Apr 3, 2011
    A story about the end being there from the begining. You search through the non-linear unfolding of the couple's life, for signs that they are not the one for each other, and the signs are there. And that's great. Because this film points out, pulling masks from many of us, that some people stay together because of need for attachment and fear of aloneness, and that not everyone decides to be together just because their neuroses can match and they'll make each other happy. Sensitive Michelle Williams, Tender and moving Ryan Gosling.
    One of the films you'll want to watch twice to delve deeper in the psychological underpinnings that pinch you to ponder and ponder.
  40. Mar 20, 2011
    I think the most accurate description of this film would be "beautifully depressing". I was left wondering why Ryan Gosling wasn't also in the oscar conversation. Definitely a movie that makes you think, especially after its conclusion. I think this leaves all people in relationships asking themselves "that won't happen to me, will it?" Really makes you think about where you stand in your own relationship. Expand
  41. Mar 14, 2011
    This movie is tired from the start, hard to watch, and really only useful for those who can view this as something they might have been through....but then it might be to painful to watch and depressing...I will add surprisingly, wonderfully acted and painfully real. If you want pure cinema well this is it, if you want to have a movie pity party well this is it, if your looking for a warm feeling and happy disposition when the credits role you might want to try morning glory. Finally ....good cinema....but I like to think story's like this can ruin a good time. Expand
  42. Feb 26, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am absolutely baffled that Ryan Gosling didn't get a Best Actor nomination for this and Michelle Williams did. Don't get me wrong, I thought she did a very good job too, but it didn't compare to Gosling, who I think is quite underrated. The story is told in a non-chronological, retrospective view. But the order and direction of the story is the most beautiful part. It is kept a bit mysterious, but easy to follow and understand where in the story you happen to be. The middle of the film did drag out and it didn't have to be a 2 hour movie. The most memorable scene was when they were walking and started singing and dancing. I think it was the apex of their relationship and showed that they could be happy together. It gave them that little bit of hope in their minds that they could hold onto their relationship and work it out. Overall it's a good story with good acting. Expand
  43. Feb 24, 2011
    An intimate wrenching and emotionally honest portrait of the birth and decay of a relationship. Subtle direction and pitch perfect acting from both Gosling and Williams alike.
  44. Feb 21, 2011
    It was okay, considering that halfway in you begin to realize that Cindy and Deans' relationship was reaching its peak in the present time and that they were showing the birth and death of their relationship.
  45. Feb 19, 2011
    An economized story that could only function with two leads that exude intelligence, charm, wit, and dare I say: grace. Actors with the ability to exercise these God given gizmos as they were commonplace among us all - and shut them down when necessary, for the sake of our betterment - to instill good in the name of art. "Blue Valentine" was ten years-plus in the making - an absurd figure to the laymen - yet, when leaving the theater - as my sister ran away ahead of me to weep in privacy - I realize how meager this world is of beauty and thoughtfulness - we follow two stories in the film - one full of expectancy, desire and young flesh - buttered with evenly layered sunlight - while the other is crippled, fluorescent, and thoroughly defeated. Civilization, by default, propagates neurosis, sorrow, and dysfunction. Some people collapse into it from exhaustion - some people give in - some relent - move to the country - yet, it follows. "Blue Valentine" imbues tragedy by way of sacrificing two superior specimens - the best mankind can conjure- it does so for our sake. This is an allegory of too many things to encapsulate in a review - it's not a simple tale of "love gone bad" or what have you - it's poetryâ Expand
  46. Feb 14, 2011
    All I can say is that after 30 minutes into this movie I knew exactly what was happening and luckily the movie didn't try at all to do anything interesting at all. Can't get much worse dialogue or boring of a story.
  47. Feb 13, 2011
  48. Feb 9, 2011
    Cianfrance's directing is laid back, as in he lets the actors do the story telling. The emotional bond formed by these characters can be seen and felt, due to the two spectacular leads. The soundtrack provided by Grizzly Bear highlights the emotional strain just right.
  49. Feb 9, 2011
    After watching Blue Valentine all I could feel was disappointment. The screenplay didn't do justice to the cast, who gave an outstanding performance considering.
  50. Feb 5, 2011
    This review contains spoilers. The dog isn't moving; he's not the only thing that's dead, but she'll deal with her blue heart later on. First things first, there's the blue dog to deal with. Cindy(Michelle Williams) discovers him on the other side of the highway, presumably hit by a moving vehicle, or maybe it was fate. Perhaps the floodgates were overdue for an opening. Little does she know it, but her bad morning is only going to get worse. While the still body lies in the trunk, Cindy walks down a deserted school hallway; it's a walk of shame, the finishing touch on a life gone horribly wrong. Inside the crowded auditorium, her daughter's pageant is already in progress. She's late, in more ways than one, and not for the first time. Six years ago, when her younger self was late, Cindy almost had an abortion. She was going to be somebody, a doctor; she really should be somewhere else, but the baby was his, so she called off the procedure. The nurse has been living with the consequences of that decision ever since. She's late again, but this time, it's a relief. Her pageant, this marriage in trouble, isn't worth saving. When Cindy breaks the news to Dean(Ryan Gosling), the directionless man she had wedded out of love, the broken woman accouters him with the ammo he needs for retaliation. Dean knows that he disappoints her. The housepainter berates her inexorably for not locking the dog's gate. It's his golden opportunity to point out that Cindy can be a f*ck-up too. Accused of being a child just hours ago, due to his lack of gravitas at the breakfast table, Dean proves her right, when instead of being there at a moment of crisis to provide comfort and understanding for her animal-related transgression, he plays the blame game, like some petulant boy, and makes his wife cry even harder. Outside the school, Frankie(Faith Wladyka) asks about the dog, and rather than give her a straight answer, he tells his daughter that the family pet decided to head out west to try his luck at being a "movie dog". Cindy says nothing; she lets her husband's sugar-coated lie hang in the air. Any questions that Frankie may have concerning life and death will have to be postponed 'til a later date. For now, there are more pressing matters to deal with. Unbeknownst to Dean, but by evoking Hollywood, and more pointedly, dreams, he opens up a can of worms; he tears the lid off of Pandora's Box. Back at the house, as a home movie featuring Megan plays on the television in memoriam, Cindy makes a connection, and suddenly, their marriage is irrevocably wrecked, overrun with worms and a laundry list of unmanageable problems. Harking back to Dean's rehashing of a Dino-centric episode of "The Flintstones", she can plainly see, fiction be damned, how Megan never made it to Hollywood. It serves as a painful reminder that the once-promising medical student never lived up to her potential either, dropping out of college like she did after making her future husband's acquaintance. And now, Cindy pays attention to her blue heart, as she fights the interspecies transferrence with all her might. She doesn't want to end up like the dog, whom Dean buried in the backyard of their modest rental. Cindy becomes deathly afraid of her husband's shovel; she doesn't want to live and die here. She doesn't want to be next. Therefore, Dean's timing couldn't be any worse when he makes reservations at a cheap motel, where they spend a night in the ironically named Future Room, since the future is both a present which her past self could never have imagined, and a myriad of hypotheticals that Cindy wants to tackle on her own. "Blue Valentine", a movie whose narrative goes backward and forward in time, shows how hindisight can sometimes be one big fallacy. The evidence shows that she was powerless to his charms. The flashbacks tell the story of her doom. After all, the warning signs were there, absolute dead giveaways that Dean was the rebound, the antidote to her college boyfriend, a real jerk, and not the man she was supposed to marry, but alas, whom she ended up loving too much. Memories are ephemeral, they don't pay the rent and put food on the table, and Cindy is paying the price for getting involved with a lovable, but shiftless townie, and yet, she has these memories, moments of pure bliss that some people may never get to experience. For instance, her grandmother, who answers in the negative to Cindy's question about ever having been in love. From the old woman's point of view, Cindy is blessed. And from our point of view, we may feel the same way, too. Collapse
  51. Feb 4, 2011
    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.

    Madal Bal natural Tree Syrup
  52. Jan 31, 2011
    Stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were also executive producers of this film, which explains the self-indulgent acting exercise that they've turned into a downer. It runs two parallel courses, when they meet and fall in love and several years later, when their marriage is falling apart. It took 3 writers to create the mundane dialogue and a director with a claustrophobic camera. Granted, the performances are award material, but the film is grim and painful for the characters and for us. Expand
  53. Jan 30, 2011
    This movie is the perfect recipe for an American indie and more. Cinematography -outstanding (watch the end credits, endearing), actor's direction -supreme, soundtrack -perfect for 90s and the performances are literally breathtaking. Gosling makes you forget he was once a stereotype. The story of deterorating love is heart-wrenching. A must see! @cinemaquote
  54. Jan 22, 2011
    I will give the director and the actors and actresses credit for making such a gritty film. Unfortunately, there was no reward or satisfaction gained by this viewer. Grim and depressing films can be enjoyed. This one was not able to deliver that.
  55. Jan 20, 2011
    Musicfan you may beg to differ and yes I did watch the film thoroughly and from what I can gather many other people feel the same as I did.Dull Dull Dull.
  56. Jan 19, 2011
    Wow Juliet1000, if all you can talk about is Michelle Williams lying on her back, it makes me wonder if you even really saw this at all! Little interesting dialogue and slow pace!? Well, I beg to differ. I thought WIlliams and Gosling were both fantastic, and I was deeply engrossed with this film. If Natalie Portman didn't give such a great performance in Black Swan, I would give the Oscar to Michelle Williams. Granted, if you are looking for escapist fluff, don't see this. However, if you are looking for great acting with a great script then definitely see this! Expand
  57. Jan 18, 2011
    This is a very good movie, albeit imperfect. The acting performances by Williams and Gosling are near perfect, with Williams having the more dynamic character. This is basically two dysfunctional people falling in love and growing apart: Williams' character grows up and wants and deserves more than Gosling's character is able to give. While is is neither Bergman nor Bertolucci, it is interesting and real. People like this exist and make bad decisions every day. It is very interesting, at the very least, to see the devolution of a relationship that did not even begin under the best circumstances. The narrative structure of the film is disjointed, probably intentionally, which detracts from the emotional impact of some of the scenes. There was a great deal made about the sex in this movie. Really? Why? It's not particularly graphic. Two of the scenes (aggressive jerk old bf and husband wanting a new baby) were critical to the movie's plot. On some level, all they shared was sexual compatibility, at least early on. That's part of what this film is about. The MPAA is nuts, as are people who "hate" this movie. Expand
  58. Jan 17, 2011
    Absolutely devastating. This story stuck in my head for hours after the film ended. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling give the best performances in their short but wonderful careers, and Derek Cianfrance's script and direction so clearly come from a personal place that you can't help but feel emotionally drained afterwards.
  59. Jan 17, 2011
    This was an excellent film with Ryan Gosling giving another riveting performance. I do have a couple of criticisms about details that the director, or actors, or someone should have noticed. In the first scene the adorable child is seen with a very expensive, & hard to maintain, haircut. This family would not be able to afford such a haircut. In a later scene, Michelle Williams French manicure is very prominent. First of all, her character works in a doctor's office & her manicure would not be appropriate, secondly, the character would not have the money, time, nor energy to have & maintain such a manicure. I find it hard hard to understand why someone involved in the film would not have noticed such jarring improbabilities. Expand
  60. Jan 12, 2011
    "Blue Valentine": Love Story or Mockumentary?

    Documentary director Derek Cianfrance uses unprecedented performances by two very talented actors to tell his version of a love story.

    Without being two cliche, I must begin by saying that "Blue Valentine" is not your average indie love story. But, on that same note, the film itself is unique because it is able to take very clique subject
    matters and tell them in a very unique and realistic way. Using a combination of an un-intrusive camera along with brilliant editing and story structure, Cianfrance was able to create one of the best films of the year and one of the most emotionally raw, powerful films in decades.

    Derek Cianfrance's experience with documentaries translated directly onto the screen. Having this kind of background was the only way anyone could get such a realistic feeling to this story that the MPAA felt it was worthy of an NC-17 rating. They really didn't show too much nudity in the film itself, especially compared to the full frontal nudity in Jackass 3D, but one can easily see where the MPAA felt that it was just too real for some people to handle. It is interesting to think about how people have no problem with sensational violence with movies such as Hostel or Saw, but when something feels "too real", people really do get uncomfortable with watching it unfold on screen.

    Cianfrance, and his cinematographer Andrij Parekh, seemed to shoot almost everything with a long telephoto lens. This did two things: it put the audience right in the character's faces so we knew exactly how and what they were feeling at all times while, practically, let them put the camera a lot father back than normal to give a separation to the actors so they could live their scenes and even forget that a camera was even there. There were many moments throughout the film that made the audience completely forget they are watching a narrative film, and this felt like it was because the actors themselves seemed to forget they were acting in a movie altogether.

    That being said, one of the biggest surprises was the performance by that young daughter, played by Faith Wladyka. Seriously, this little girl deserves an Oscar Nomination for her work in this film. Kids actors are always cute, but never 100% believable. But not this one. I really believed that this little girl didn't know she was filming a movie, but was really just being an adorable little girl.

    On the technical side, the editing in the film was a complete masterpiece, both on a small scale with great transitional cuts, to the film as a whole and the brilliant story structure that paralleled the falling-in-love with the falling-out-of-love perfectly. So much of the story and character relationships seemed to come from the way scenes would transition from a close-up on one character to another close-up at a different time and location that instantly showed the audience how the emotions of the characters changed over time. Certainly this can also be attributed to the directing and performances of the actors, but if the these performances were not pieced together in the way they were, they would certainly not have the emotional power that was felt in the film.

    And of course there are the leading actors. True, Ryan Gosling does always kind of play the same part, the naive and slightly-out-of-touch-with-reality-but-in-a-likeable-way guy who always knows exactly what to say. Honestly, and completely objectively, I would have pictured someone who would come across as more of a jerk when reading the script, but after seeing the completed film there is no doubt that Gosling is the only actor that could have pulled off a role like that. Michelle Williams, on the other hand, was perfect casting. She herself is really attractive without being ridiculously hot. A perfect "realistic hot". That being said, there is no doubt that she has acting skills, having the most piercing eyes that draw you in and don't let go.

    Ultimately, while this is not a film you can walk away from in a good mood, it really is so refreshing to see a film that is not afraid of capturing a slice of realistic life.

    P.S. The film was scored by indie band Grizzly Bear? Amazing choice.
  61. Jan 8, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. expected so much more of what i looked in it , But at the same time is not that bad comparing with the 2010´s movie . It can easily get over so much movies of the last year. But at the same time i insist that i expected so much more of it . Expand
  62. Jan 1, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The film was well done; great acting, great scene writing, great structure, but emotionally it was very cold. In cold, I mean I felt detached. I also think the theme was very unoriginal. You repeating what your parents did to you has been done many many times. I also think Michelle Williams character was totally unlikeable, and I didn't think she deserved him, so therefore I didn't want them to work and that took away what I should be rooting for in the film..... It is the definition with what can be wrong with independent film. The realism takes you out of the film. Expand
  63. Dec 31, 2010
    Very disappointing considering this is my kind of film. Anyone who thinks this is great must not be familiar with what great films look like. Check out Bergman if you want to plumb human emotion. Or Bertolucci. This is a very superficial and stylish film that comes up empty. Great acting, but the dialog and the storytelling are quite weak. The events are so simplistic and heavy-handed. All in all a huge disappointment. Expand
  64. Dec 30, 2010
    Outstanding film - makes my top 5 for 2010. Don't want to say much about it lest I prejudice your experience with it. The crowd I saw it with was sufficiently stunned when the credits rolled. (I've never seen credits presented quite like those, by the way.) Do what you can to see this one soon. It's not an "easy" movie - you'll carry it around for a while, but it's worth it. I'm ready to see many more films by this director. Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 28, 2011
    It is beautiful, and it is difficult to watch. It is heartwarming, and it is heart-wrenching. It is absorbing, and it's unsettling.
  2. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jan 28, 2011
    Two superb actors etch an unflinching portrait of a young marriage doomed never to grow old.
  3. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 27, 2011
    Sounds depressing, but Blue Valentine is a reminder that well-measured and expertly acted pain is as thrilling to watch as 3-D spectacle.