Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blue Valentine


This still from Blue Valentine really captivated me. In both a "damn, that's a good shot" way and a "I GET IT. I GET THE TITLE" way. *Love it when that happens* But not since my first viewing of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has a film left me so completely heartbroken over love and not being able to make up my mind as to why. Blue Valentine stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple whose marriage is falling apart. Interspersed with flashbacks of the beginning of their relationship, I think what the film does best is highlight a realistic unwinding of a relationship that begins as this magical leap of faith. The film essentially begins where most romance movies leave out: happily never after. 


The similarities between Blue Valentine and Eternal Sunshine are many, but the unique way in which each film tells this anti-love story sets them apart in a way that feels very genuine. The biggest difference between the two are the reason each film works so well, which is the style of dialogue. Eternal Sunshine is a very lyrical, poetic film and so the script lives up to that. It even goes so far as to quote an entire passage of poetry that frames the plot and title. However, Blue Valentine hits very raw and real conversational patterns which I think is why it hits closer to home with a wider variety of people. It's not concerned with the artfulness of words or the flowering of language; it creates lines of dialogue that leave you asking yourself if Derek Cianfrance didn't just vomit an actual series of arguments into Celtx. Because nobody writes like that, but real people talk like that. How do you write an argument between two people when neither of them know what to say because they can't figure out why they're even fighting? The shots were all amazing, but in all honesty the writing and banter between Williams and Gosling is what really blew me away. 


My thoughts on Derek? What a stubborn man to spend 12 years on a movie. Keep making films like this, and you'll go far. Just, you know, try not to take 12 years this time.


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