Blue Valentine | Indy Week

Blue Valentine

Rated R 114 min. 2010

Derek Cianfrance's Sundance sensation is a raw, plaintive portrait of a romance's heady birth and excruciating death rattle patterned after the gritty best of John Cassavetes. What's most notable is what's missing: the maudlin middle that answers why Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) transitioned from young, white hot lovers to a broken marriage barely held together by a sense of parental obligation. Cianfrance deploys the well-worn device of chronological hopscotching, a back and forth that works best when fashioned into a kind of call and response, as when Dean and Cindy's first passionate coitus is crosscut with a latter-day attempt to rekindle their relationship inside a cheesy, sci-fi-themed hotel suite. Although the film sometimes teeters on lethargy and self-consciousness, any slow patches are salvaged by a discomforting realism portrayed by actors well-equipped for the challenge. Gosling and Williams each essentially play two different characters, one in love's early throes and another grappling with its inextricable end.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Writer: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, Reila Aphrodite, John Doman, Ben Shenkman, Samii Ryan, Faith Wladyka, Michelle Nagy and Robert Eckard


Blue Valentine

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