So there I am, Valentine’s Day afternoon, with a few hours to kill before I have to go to work. I decide I want to watch a movie. An Academy Award nominated movie. With a little less than two weeks before the big show, I know I need to get cracking if I want to meet my goal of seeing every Oscar nominated film. Seeing as how it is Valentine’s Day, I choose Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Best Actress nominee Michelle Williams.
The film tells the story of a young couple as they fall in and out of love. Dealing with alcohol, lost hopes, pregnancy, and simply growing apart, the movie tugs at your heartstrings from start to finish.
The chemistry between Williams and Gosling is palpable, even when they are supposed to be fighting. You root for them from the beginning (at least I did), and hope that they can sort through their problems. Williams’s Cindy isn’t the most likable gal, but she sure is relatable. The actress does a fantastic job of making her anguish known through subtle facial expressions and tones of voice. Gosling’s Dean, meanwhile, is more obvious about his love for Cindy, and makes the audience share in his frustration at her resistance.
Both lead actors are phenomenal. Gosling was robbed of a Best Actor nomination, whereas Williams thoroughly deserves hers. While watching the film, I didn’t think of them as actors. They were Dean and Cindy, a real couple.
Directed by Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine managed to evoke a plethora of intense emotion, all in under two hours. I laughed at the couple’s good times, wanted to wish away the bad, and ended the movie feeling utterly hopeless. It made me question if love exists and completely depressed me by the end. Even still, Blue Valentine is a great film and definitely one worth watching.